Respect / Privilege (re: addiction)

One thing on my mind a lot after muddling through only one week of abstaining from alcohol is: I have SO much more respect for people who battle more severe forms of addiction, in much worse circumstances.

If I find it challenging to not reach for the bottle when I am a little bit bored / annoyed / wanting to numb out some of the news or regular challenges of life, how much harder must it be for others.

So I want to acknowledge and appreciate all the privilege I have that makes this sober experiment easier for me:

-It IS an experiment. It’s a choice. If I continued exactly as I was before, I would not die or ruin my marriage or lose my job. One of my best friends was a severe alcoholic in her life before kids, before I knew her, and she once said “if I ever started drinking again, I would die”.

-I have the most wonderful, understanding, and supportive husband ever.

-I don’t struggle with any mental or physical health issues.

-I don’t have social anxiety if I can’t drink.

-I have a great group of friends in which it’s a non-issue if I’m not drinking. They wouldn’t care or probably even notice and like doing non-alcohol related activities.

-Same with family. My family does love to drink and I love to drink with them, but we have a good relationship and they wouldn’t pressure me.

-I have time, to process my thoughts, to read “quit lit”, to write this blog, to plan healthy activities.

-My kids are for the most part lovely people, no stressful behavioral issues or anything.

-Really no major stress in my life outside of oh the whole pandemic thing that everyone else in the world is dealing with too. But we are financially comfortable and not dealing with any family illness or other crises.

So basically, if I can’t do this now… when am I going to do it? I know life won’t always be this easy and I want to be ready to handle it in a healthy way when that time comes.

8 thoughts on “Respect / Privilege (re: addiction)

  1. Yes, this makes sense to me. It is ok that it is still hard, though, even with all that one may have. Quitting is hard if you are dependent in any way on a substance! But you’re right that, for some with fewer resources, there are probably considerably more barriers to recovery. On the other hand, sometimes privilege gives us the opportunity to not change even though we may need to.

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  2. I agree with this is many ways but also do my do yourself a disservice… even with resources and support it is a big thing to overcome and change and you are doing brilliantly. I wish I had given up earlier, before it really had such a negative impact on my life. Privilege or no, you are giving yourself an opportunity and a choice which is an amazing thing to do. X

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  3. I agree with all the above and like you feel privileged. I’d never thought of all this before so thank you for opening my eyes. I think my first month would have been so hard without going away or in a negative relationship, but I actually never thought of that before xx

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  4. I get what you’re saying and if I suddenly slipped up and started drinking it wouldn’t be the end of the world but alcohol dependency is on a continuum and for many people the more years wE drink the further along that continuum we go. Stopping before it gets really bad takes a lot of insight and courage because one hasn’t reached that “rock Bottom” . But yes, giving up is easier when your life has completely turned to shit. X

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  5. I know what you mean and often berate myself for not having real problems to drown out or be depressed about but as everyone’s said addiction is a hard thing to overcome and not waiting for rock bottom takes courage as well! Xxx

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  6. I relate to this so much and have all the respect in the world for people who over come serious addiction: they are amazing people. I do think it’s important to remember drinking and alcoholism are progressive; things may not be “rock bottom” now but that’s not to say it couldn’t end up being. That sounds bleak but it helps me to frame things. The important thing is you care about change and you’re trying. That in itself is bloody amazing and I hope you’re proud 😊💜

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  7. I can totally relate to what you are saying about this being a good time for you to pursue sobriety! I too, feel like my life situation is in such an overall positive state, this is the time to lay the foundation, before any (inevitable) future upheavals occur. Maybe you’ll discover you enjoy the sober lifestyle so much you want to stick with it.

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