I have friends and family that see my sobriety as a punishment...
Updated: Mar 25
I think that some people in my world still view my sobriety as a problem that I should be ashamed of. They treat me as if I am damaged. Instead of looking at what I have done as a choice to better myself, they pity me. In their eyes, I let my life get too out of control, so this is what I get. "Sucks for her."
Many people think sobriety is a punishment for not being able to control my drinking. Or for not taking better care of myself. Or for not being more responsible over the years. It can be frustrating when people look at what I am doing and simply see me as having "a problem." They see my drinking as the situation that led to this miserable, suffering end that is sobriety. I don't love that there are people that see 'not drinking' as the end of the road.
Why can't the world see that this choice to stop drinking is actually an incredibly fulfilling one? It is actually the beginning of the road. It has led to so much joy and peace. And it can be a choice for anyone. You don't have to drink. It is actually quite empowering to stop.
Well, I guess I know the answer to why so many see it this way. I looked at it from that lease for a long time. Alcohol itself clouds people's judgement and makes it hard for others to see the larger picture clearly.
People that I used to hang out with, friends that know me, even family members - so many of them view my sobriety as a punishment. Something that I have to endure. A fate that needs to now be tolerated. They believe not drinking is something that I need to suffer through to the end of eternity - when in reality, drinking was actually the punishment. This is possibly because they themselves don't want to have to question how alcohol plays a role in their own life. It's easier to make me out to be damaged instead.
I just wish that people could see that sobriety is a beautiful choice. It is not something to be ashamed of or to shy away from. Alcohol is the culprit here. There is such a stigma attached to the idea of not drinking, and the person that chooses to finally give up on the cancer inducing drug is often looked down upon.
I do not care how others view me. If they feel pity or show judgement towards me, then that is on them. It likely has more to do with their inability to look in the mirror and recognize their own challenges and struggles. More times than not, if someone feels sadness for me and cannot see that I am actually happy and have in fact conquered a lot - then that is their choice.
My story is one of resilience and strength. I never thought I would be happy the way I am today. I was one of those people that looked at sober people exactly as I am describing. I never thought I would find joy and experience life as I am now. People that feel sorry for me and look at me as if I have "a problem" or that "I am damaged," then I can only hope they find the strength they need one day to face their own inner struggles. People who spend their time judging and discussing the way others live their lives often need to turn the focus in on themselves.
I am living my authentic truth, and I am proud of what I have done. I have come through the fire, and I want to encourage anyone who might be facing the same inner demons to find the strength to step up and do the hard work. If you are feeling swallowed by the darkness or if you are drowning. Reach out. Life is so much better on this side.