People Just Don't Understand: Even after 20 years... - Drink Free

Drink Free

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People Just Don't Understand

Isinatra profile image
15 Replies

Even after 20 years of sobriety, my sister automatically said when we reminisced…….” Were you drinking then?”….We were talking about my childhood because I couldn’t remember any Christmas’s. I mean…come on… first drink was when I was 17, not 7. She doesn’t drink every day and can go a week without a drink or sometimes more, but when she drinks, she drinks like an alcoholic. I’ve told her that consuming alcohol damages neurons in the brain. (That doesn’t include the other affected organs) When the damage starts to occur depends on how much and how long the user has been using alcohol. My sister has been drinking for 63 years. So no doubt her brain has been damaged. Damage doesn’t stop until the user stops drinking and there is no guarantee that the brain can or will be fully repaired. Just like my brain….but I’m lucky since I stopped. And I do wonder how much damage I incurred upon myself when I was drinking.

When my sister comes up with silly questions about my drinking, I have to stop and think if she’s saying that because of all the alcohol she’s consumed in 63 years or is it because it’s her way of feeling superior to me because she doesn’t consider herself an alcoholic.? I choose to believe it’s because of the amount of alcohol she has consumed. It’s easier for me to accept that behavior and not stay in a state of resentment which is a killer for alcoholics. I can’t control how another person acts or thinks, anyway. Lecturing sends people scurrying and my sister would be in that crowd. Do I worry about her? Yes, I do. And every other person who could be harmed by alcohol.

I’ve come full circle now. People just don’t understand. 💔

15 Replies
6ixtyon1 profile image

...Amen to that! Well-stated.

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to 6ixtyon1

Hey, Girl! Nice to see you!☺️

SoberDrunk1 profile image

Is she restless irritable or discontended when not drinking? Has she attempted the various stages of testing? Like moderation and then try to stay stopped? There is a fine line between hard drinkers and Alcoholic. Alcoholics cant go for long without booze, like Dr Silkworth states. They seek that sense of ease and comfort that alcohol gives them. Without it, they are mean, nasty people.

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to SoberDrunk1

If I told my sister, who does not consider herself an alcoholic and does not want to be accused of being an alcoholic, to buy/borrow a book about alcoholism and take a test to find out if she is one, it would close any further chance of our communication. That is a form of lecturing and accusing her of being an alcoholic. As Bill W. suggests (the co-founder of AA), lecturing and accusations don’t work. If my sister wants what I, a recovering alcoholic, has, she’ll ask. She hasn’t as of yet, been so unfortunate to have reached that point of desperation to ask. As it stands now, I can’t diagnose her as being an alcoholic because alcoholics hide the facts /effects of their usage . Alcohol abuse isn’t just about alcoholism, it’s also about what else alcohol can do to ANYBODY’S body.

SoberDrunk1 profile image
SoberDrunk1 in reply to Isinatra

Yeah, Cant tell the alcoholic much. There are some great tips in the chapters "To The wives" "To the Employers" and the chapter "Working with others". Like approaching them after a spree because thats when they maybe receptive. Also leaving a book "accidentally" in the house so they can start peaking into it if they desire. There is nothing much we can do. Thats the cunning baffling poewerful nature of this disease. A guy with 6 DUIs was wondering if he should stay sober rest of his life the other day. And when I use to take meetings into a correction fecility (pre-covid), ran into a guy who was about to leave the facility after serving 4 years for vehicular homicide and was wondering if he is an alcoholic or not. Tragedy! But we can only keep our side of the street clean.

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to SoberDrunk1

Leaving your Big Book around if you live with a possible alcoholic is a good thing, of course. It IS up to them to pick it up. That’s just one tool that can be laid at their feet. You would also be a tool. You would be an example of how a better life can be achieved without alcohol. I have my own thoughts, though about talking to a hungover and remorseful person the day after . In my experience, when in such a state, they make promises they aren’t ready to keep. As you know, alcoholics make lots of promises they can’t or aren’t ready to keep. A test to prove their earnestness would be to ask them gently if they would like to go to a meeting. If they are willing, then that’s a start. If they balk, then we wait for them to ask us to take them.

HeavyFoot profile image

Ever get that nasty comment “I liked you better when you were drinking”?

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to HeavyFoot

lol. Yes and No. 😉

SoberDrunk1 profile image
SoberDrunk1 in reply to HeavyFoot

Yes, early in recovery when my emotions were coming off unglued. Slowly it subsided, working the program of AA.

LiveWithLove profile image

thank you for sharing xx

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to LiveWithLove


LilyAnnepuppy profile image

My brother drinks alcoholically. he even admits he is an alcoholic. But he’s 69 now and his life has never gotten as unmanageable as mine did. I was fighting with cops. Blacking out. Two divorces. Car accidents. He’s never paid the same price. I figure he knows there is treatment for the disease. He’s watched me stay sober for 44 years. And if he ever wants it, he knows where to go. He’s raised a family. Kept a job. Like I said, his life hasn’t been as unmanageable as mine was. I consider myself fortunate. He has the same higher power that I do. And I’m not in charge. Id like it if everyone who needs it could get sober. Glad you are, my friend.

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to LilyAnnepuppy

Sorry, Lily, I had to take a good nap. Yes, he’s watched your journey for many years and when he’s ready, he’ll ask for help. I understand. It’s hard to standby and wait for a phone call that may or may not come. My brother is similar. But he had a minor alcohol related illness, stopped drinking for a month, pulled through and still drinks. Thank you for sharing your Experience, Strength and Hope for other people. 😊

CiggieStardust profile image

So well put isinatra. I’ve a few years to go before I reach 70 but I want to have quit well before then. Reading books on the subject doesn’t help me. I know where I’m going wrong and what I have to do. If there were patches to help I would use them. But there aren’t. So it’s going to have to be cold turkey and sheer willpower. I want a new and more fulfilling life which can only be achieved without alcohol and cigarettes. 52 days no smoking, day two no alcohol. Sobertober 🤞🙏

Isinatra profile image
Isinatra in reply to CiggieStardust

Quitting both at the same time can be too much for some people. Be kind to yourself if you find you can’t do both at the same time . Don’t get discouraged. How I wish there patches to help quit drinking, but I’d still need a support group for encouragement and especially direction. There are support systems, too, besides patches for stopping smoking. The great thing is that you’re working on stop drinking now. There’s lots of helpful tools out there. Use them all if you need to.

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