Labels and social media in the sober community

I’ve been tired this week, really tired and a little bit down, so I guess you could say that I have been a tad vulnerable to suggestions. I have started to feel a bit restless in my sobriety and I think I had just hit that inevitable stage where I was thinking, well what’s next? Is this it?

The pink cloud has popped

I haven’t been riding on the pink cloud for a while now, I know that my life isn’t going to suddenly be perfect because I no longer drink. I know that life is just what it is – life! And in all honestly, with the state of the world right now, I think many of us feel a little bit ‘not okay’ sober or not sober.

I have still mostly been doing the work and I know that I do not want to ever drink again. I have to keep playing it forward in my mind, why did I give up? Why was I so unhappy when I drank? What would I gain by drinking again? (the answer is a lot of heartache and health issues). But the need for something to make it feel better has been playing around in my mind.

Then I saw this:

Myth: Alcohol is an addictive drug.

Reality: Alcohol is selectively

addictive, namely for alcoholics.

Alcoholics will become addicted no

matter how LITTLE they drink,

whereas most other people will not,

no matter how MUCH they drink.

~ Milam & Ketcham

Twitter

I saw this post on Twitter and boy did this send me into a tailspin. It made me wonder if perhaps I was being a bit dramatic? I mean, I certainly don’t identify with the label, ‘alcoholic’ so does that mean I could drink? I mean this says that I can drink and drink and I will never become an alcoholic! Yippee!!!

The book that quote was taken from was written in 1981, this book is now 41 years old and so of course thinking has moved on from then. But it made me think of two things:

  • Social media is full of people’s opinions and writings which may or may not be true. It’s really important that you keep an open mind when viewing it. And don’t let it infulence you. Just because something is in writing doesn’t make it so. Sobriety can be so fragile at times and it is important to remember this.
  • I believe that alcohol dependency works on a scale. And that is why I don’t really like to label it. Even if you can drink and drink and never become addicted, your outcome still won’t be great

Alcoholic or not an alcoholic?

Some people identify as alcoholics and that is good and right for them. However, there are some of us now who don’t. I have said before if I was to label myself as anything I would be a grey area drinker. I am not a medical professor, a doctor, or an expert, but I think it’s a lot more complicated than I am an alcoholic or I am not an alcoholic. I think it’s a scale and some drinkers are worse than others and not everyone uses alcohol in the same way. Certain situations or difficulties can escalate the level of the scale that you are on. I understand that genetics do come into it and certain people are predisposed to alcohol addiction. But I believe that alcohol is an addictive substance, it isn’t that we didn’t use it ‘responsibly’ or in the right way which lead us to where we are now.

What’s in a name?

Whether or not we accept terms like ‘alcoholic’ or ‘addict’, it is important to be cautious about how we use them. Believing that problems with alcohol only happen to certain people who are ‘alcoholics’ or ‘addicts’ can be a convenient way to brush aside what may be quite serious alcohol issues in our own lives. The truth is that any of us who drink to excess may cause problems for ourselves and others, and may need help to overcome those problems – whatever words we chose to use to describe ourselves.

https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/is-alcohol-addictive

I think what horrified me the most about that quote was that I almost saw it as permission to carry on as I was. And that is really dangerous.

Where am I now?

I have spoken with my sober friends and I have shared that I was struggling and discussed my feelings around the post and I am where I should be. I am sober and I am working on staying there. I don’t care what my label is or should be. Alcohol made me unhappy and almost ruined my life many times. If you are unhappy with your drinking then you don’t have to stay in that cycle. You don’t have to hit rock bottom or fit into a label type to free yourself.

This is just my opinion.

Much love,

B xx

3 thoughts on “Labels and social media in the sober community

  1. I know that feeling. That “is that all there is and was I really so bad” feeling. I struggle with that, too, whenever I get a solid amount of sober time going. I’m glad you’re going to keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

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