My Not So Secret Diary

Talking To Others

Talking to Others
As a family we’re quite self-sufficient, in that we don’t really rely on many people outside of our little bubble. And by bubble, I’m not referring to anything Covid related, we’ve always been like it.

I think of my husband as my best friend, but over the years we’ve fallen out of touch with a lot of other friends. I guess, because we were so young when we had our older kids, it was difficult socialising with friends who weren’t settled and spent their time differently to us. As our kids got older, our friends started having kids and so the balance was tipped the other way. By the time Stanley had come along we had lost touch with many of our close friends, not completely, but we just didn’t see them that often.

In many ways I suppose it made it easier not to see lots of people when I was in the early days of recovery, and even now. I don’t have to explain things to anyone else, unless I choose to. It’s tricky because I feel that I am on top of my problems to such an extent that they don’t worry me anymore, and yet, occasionally, I realise that there is something I haven’t really addressed and makes me struggle more. Like the idea of eating out in a restaurant. It’s those small things when I see that I haven’t pushed myself as much as I could have done. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. It’s not like I’m actively avoiding things. I’m not sitting at home wishing I was out. I’m quite happy at home, it’s just when an event is suggested, even something like a work party, I worry about how I will deal with it.

I felt like a bit of a fraud yesterday at work. I was finishing off some bits for my online shop. I’ve been really enjoying embracing my creativity a little, and designing and making some gifts for those in sobriety. So I waited until everyone was on lunch so I didn’t have to explain myself, not because I didn’t want to, it’s strange, I just find it a bit embarrassing, and I still assume that I’ll be judged or misunderstood. I work with the nicest team of people, and yet, I still worry what they think of me. It’s hard, because there is no rule book of how to explain an addiction to the people you work with. People that work full time spend a lot of time with those they work with, they become almost a second family, well at least it seems that way with our team, and I feel that I don’t want to let them down or have them think the worst of me.

Anyway, everyone was on their lunch break and it was quiet when one of the staff came in and asked what I was making. He was literally just interested and yet I just clammed right up, I felt so self-conscious. I know he saw the word ‘sober’, which isn’t a problem, but because he didn’t ask, I then felt like I couldn’t explain myself. It’s so difficult, because I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come, and yet, on days like yesterday, I realise just how many avoidance or coping strategies I still have in place.

I’m not really sure what I should do. I know it isn’t anyone else’s business, and it no longer defines who I am, but it is still a part of me. I’m quite an open person in general, so having a ‘secret’ or something I don’t talk about with those close to me feels odd. It’s not even a secret, I just don’t want to be judged. I don’t want people to think the worst of me. I know my strength is in my sobriety, but I don’t know if other people who will understand that. In a culture that is so underpinned by drinking, it can be hard to understand those who don’t drink unless you’ve been affected personally by it. But, maybe I’m just blowing the whole thing out of proportion? I have been known to overthink things!

Thanks as always for reading.
Claire x