December 11th, 2022
Okay, this is both an appreciation post for the best co-workers ever (look at this effing cake!) and a passive-aggressive reminder of what you, a normal person, can do for the sober people in your life.
When people decide to get sober, it is often daunting and overwhelming. Every solid decision splinters into a dozen other decisions.
Some people limit themselves. I don’t say this in a condescending way; sometimes, and often in early sobriety, an individual will decide to cut people or places out of their lives, temporarily or permanently, because they act as perceived triggers.
I knew from the moment I could think relatively clearly that I could not do that. I work with alcohol. The people I love (mostly) drink alcohol. Most of the rest of the adult world drinks alcohol.
I had to be cool with alcohol.
And, largely, I did not have to cut anyone out of my life. There is a reason for this:
The people in my life have respect for me.
I support all ways of recovery, as long as they work for somebody, but I do not subscribe to the “you can’t get well in the place you got sick” take. (I wrote an essay on that topic which, if you haven’t read it, basically states that I feel like that mindset becomes an excuse for people to not try to get better right now.)
All of my current relationships have something in common: they value the fact that I exist in their life, and they don’t make me feel less than or pressure me to do something that makes me worse.
That’s not to say I haven’t had honest conversations with them, some who don’t understand but want to, or miss the times we used to have.
But above all that, they want me here, that’s the most important thing, and they give me the respect and support I need to keep doing that thing.
So if you’ve been less than supportive of your sober friend, am I calling you out?
I sincerely hope this gives you something to think about.
Sobriety is fucking hard. The beginning is virtually impossible. The least you can do, if you love somebody, is to not actively root against them.
You can do better. You can give them something to fight for.