My Not So Secret Diary

Sobriety - And Other People

Sobriety and other people - standing up for my views on social media blog about recovery by Claire Hatwell called My Not So Secret Diary
Last night I had a comment on my Instagram about seeing posts about drinking in my newsfeed. To be honest, it really upset me. Let me explain.

I don’t expect every one to be sober, or to want to be, because not everyone has a drinking problem. Personally, I do have a problem. And, I’m not the only one. I found getting to where I am now really hard, and although I no longer feel like I am missing out, sometimes the memory of drinking is still there, and I don’t like to trigger it. It isn’t that I am jealous of those who drink, I just don’t really like being reminded of the past. I don’t care so much what everyone else shares, but actually, I do find it triggering/upsetting/offensive to see posts glamourising what is effectively a poison to me in my newsfeed. In the same way, I don’t like adverts or comments on TV either. I can’t limit everything I see, but I can have a voice about it. Sharing my thoughts helps me, and talking to others in a similar situation makes me feel understood and validated in my feelings.

The thing is, regardless of the words I write, no one knows what is in my head. You can read all of my posts and know that I am generally positive about my sobriety, but you won’t necessarily know that yesterday I had a real wobble. A wobble that caught me off guard. Lee phoned to say he was going to stay at work late, and the first thought into my mind, while he was still on the phone was to think, “I’ll just pour some wine then.” It caught me off guard because I haven’t had a spontaneous thought like that in a long time. It really isn’t that I am longing for it, it’s just that I drank for such a long time that it feels a bit ingrained really.

It’s the same with the comment yesterday. I like that people follow me, but I understand if you don’t, and not everyone will agree with me all the time either. I don’t want it to seem like I am preaching, because that really isn’t my intention, but it is important for me to voice my feelings, as I know connection helps us to overcome our difficulties, and I know that I am not the only person out there who was in my situation. I want people to be able to see that there is a way to be happy without alcohol in their lives, if that is what they are looking for. It made me upset to have someone tell me how I should feel, that apparently it’s okay for posts like that to fill my newsfeed because it will make me stronger, if I can’t drink ‘responsibly’. It’s hard for people who haven’t been there to understand quite what a fight those of us with addictions have, but that comment hit a sore point. What does it actually mean to drink responsibly? My first thoughts were that this person perhaps had already had a few drinks and so wasn’t thinking about what they were saying, followed by the fact that perhaps they are sensitive about the amount they drink themselves?

Whatever the reason for the comment, I am sick of having drinking glamourised. We don’t need it. It’s nice for those who want it, but we shouldn’t be justifying it to get through the day or a tricky time. While it can be explained away as saying it’s ‘fun’ actually we need to remember that it’s an addictive drug. Would the reaction be the same if we posted jokes about doing a line of cocaine in the evenings? Would that still be so ‘funny’? Maybe I’m being too harsh? It just wound me up to be told what I should think or feel by someone who hasn’t been there and therefore can’t understand.

I don’t always get it right, and the anxious person I am, I worry that I’ve upset people, but I’m sure not everyone feels the same when they post a comment to me. So, like I said last night, this is my blog, and while I don’t want to offend, I will keep posting my opinion because that’s what it is about. My blog is genuine. The things I write about are things I’ve experienced. The words are my own and the photos are real, unlike some pages which are full of purchased stock images. I hope you continue to read it, but I understand if you don’t.

Big love to you all, and thank you for being here.
Claire x