March 15, 2013

The Sober Alcoholic

I had a light hearted conversation with a coworker yesterday about how times have changed... I know I totally aged myself since he is about 10 years younger than me! Lol! The gist of the conversation was -  remember when? As he replied to few things I mentioned by saying the he has heard of that, we laughed and carried on. At some point the conversation switched, and for the life of me I can't remember to what topic exactly, but what was said after that has stuck in my head. He said, - well you could always been one of those bottom of the barrel drunks, sitting under the bridge, drinking out of a paper bag warped jug of vodka! and I exclaimed, - OH, NO, not going back there again, been there done that!- and then we all laughed and went back to work.

I felt strange afterwards, like I just outed myself! And then I thought, is being the bottom of the barrel drunk, the worst thing in the world?! My coworkers all know that I don't drink, I told them all so they would not keep asking me to happy hour and such, and so they would not ask at company events why I am not drinking, I just like to get that out of the way. But I have never said why, though when asked, I have said that it makes me crazy. Lol!               And that's when I though, wow, I don't really feel offended! I feel grateful, I feel amazed that I am no longer one of those bottom of the barrel drunks! But I was one for sure. I might have never lived under the bridge or, drank out of paper bag, or drank vodka, well let me rephrase that, I drank vodka if it was there, but I usually didn't buy it, well, I bought it few times too...but, well, the point is that I was the bottom of the barrel drunk! I was hopeless. I thought I would never get sober. So when I did finally get sober, I tended to sort of feel ashamed that I didn't drink, and that I was sober. 

A sober alcoholic should be good, but I guess because if you are admitting to be sober, you are also admitting that you have been a drunk! Why is it cool to drink but not cool to be sober!? Why is it hard to tell people that you are sober, why aren't they instantaneously  happy for you? Why do they automatically judge you... it's bad to be sober and it's bad to be a drunk? -hmmmm. 

Oh well, it's ok, I don't have to understand everything or everyone. I don't have to argue, plead or convince anyone anymore. (especially not myself!) I know the truth. I know who I am, and I think am, finally, quite OK with that! I am proud to be the sober alcoholic!

Happy Friday!


  1. funny, I read this on a recovery forum yesterday too - this sort of twisted thing about being ostracized or the perception of being marginalized as either a drunk or a sober alcoholic. Seems strange, but then again, everyone's perception of each is not exactly bang on, is it? Even among those struggling with alcohol dependency or full on alcoholism, some feel they aren't alcoholics because they don't fit the TV or movie mold that is freely viewed...the guy or gal you describe, under the bridge drinking from a bag.

    I think many people would be surprised to know I am a recovered alcoholic - either because they knew me then and maybe didn't think I could do it, or who knew me but didn't know about my consumption. but I don't trumpet it all over the place.

    Love this post - thank you so much. Has me thinking now...hmmmm...(dangerous territory for an alcoholic!)


    1. Thanks Paul! I think it is strange. My brother in-law has stayed cleaned for a few weeks now but he will not leave the house, he says he is embarrassed to be clean. I think this is a huge part of why people can't get sober. The perception is that you will go from “party all the time” to a complete dud! No one wants to be a dud. Well, and I didn’t get sober to be a dud either!


Keep moving forward!