I get it...it's important to drill into your own mind that you are an alcoholic. If you say it enough, you might actually start to believe it. But sometimes you don't want to be just an anonymous alcoholic when you introduce yourself to a room of people, sometimes you want your ego to SHINE "Hey, I'm the funny one!" or "Hey, I have a name!" so here's ten alt's to use or get you started on your own.
1. My name is ____ and I'm A PERSON. (Whoa, how about THAT bomb!)
2. My name is _____ and I'm a dipsomaniac (clinical name for alcoholic)
3. My name is ______ and I'm a tea totaller (Old timey name for a sober person)
4. My name is ______ and I'm good (just nod)
5. My name is ______ and I'm a Virgo, Existentialist, Cisgender, Reptilian Cross breed.
6. My name is ______ and sorry, what was the question?
7. My name is ______ and I'm a drunk
8. My name is ______ and I'm NOT annoyed
9. My name is ______ and I prefer not to label myself
10. My name is Slim Shady, please stand up.
When attempting to get sober, it's important to identify our lists of triggers. Some of these triggers are easy to identify like a hard day at work and subsequent reward. Others kind of evade us until that moment when we drive by a car of yodeling Mexican's and think "Okay, that's weird, but that just totally made me want to drive my car straight through the walls of the liquor store." Here are a list of some potential triggers that might not come to mind immediately, but if you think about them long enough you'll be calling for bail money.
1. Phone battery is at 1%. At 15% you told yourself you had time. At 5% you started to mildly panic. Now your phone is 1% and somehow you feel like Bruce Willis in Die Hard except you lack the tools to disarm the impending boom. You know you are on a serious countdown to being alone with the void your own mind and somehow you're only problem solving skill involves a drink which will end up being much more expensive and time consuming than finding a friend or a store with a charger.
2. Girl yelling "whoooo" in the distance. Mind: "Must be a girl partying. She sounds like she's having fun. I remember when I used to have fun like that. I can almost taste the Long Island now. Hmmm, I'm thirsty. Oh there's a bar over there. Okay, I'll just go have one." Game Over, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 anything except random numbers, scrapes and cuts.
3. Being told what to do by anyone. Mind: "Who do they think they are? Wow, they really need to work on their approach. No one tells me what to do." These are common thoughts you might have upon being told what to do by anyone. We don't take authority well and somehow this is news to us. There's no right way for anyone to approach us and give us instructions and they are just as apprehensive about doing it as we are receiving it which is why the whole thing came out so weird and tense.
4. Drinking something out of a brown bag. If you do this with anything but booze you will feel like Martin Short in Three Amigos when he goes to drink water out of his canteen and it's filled with sand. You will feel the thirst. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o
5. Patio Dining. Mind: "Oh man, look at those people drinking over there having such a good time. No fair." Aaaaahhhhhhhhh! You may have to just run every time you see patio dining. Tell people you are a patio dining phobe. You'll actually look stupider getting drunk in the middle of the day at a lovely patio dining arrangement then just seriously belting every time you pass one.
6. The Real Housewives of anything, Big Brother, Dating Naked as well as several other reality shows. They are fighting. Drinking. Shopping. Drinking. Working out. Drinking. Travelling. Drinking. Suddenly, you feel like you know them and they are your best friends. Soon drinking seems like a normal part of life again and you've completely forgotten how you know the detox unit at the hospital on a first name basis.
7. Having your shit together and looking good. It seems like you should only be triggered when you are having a rough day, but now you have money to lose and weight to gain. Everything is great, but your mind whispers to you that the only thing you are missing is a drink...then you'd really be great. All I have to say is play the tape motherfuckers.
8. Church. All these good people make you want to be bad. Maybe not necessarily bad, but definitely not one of them. You feel more comfortable in a bar than church, more like you can express yourself. Church isn't about you and that also makes it difficult. Maybe church isn't for everyone and that is okay. For some of us it's just better to avoid.
9. Car problems. There's a reason triple A has two A's in it. Never go without it if you are planning on being sober for any substantial amount of time.
If you're really an alcoholic then you're really an asshole too. The correlation is +100%. If you are getting sober and thinking back saying "well, I wasn't hurting anyone besides myself" then I suggest you stay in your room and try not to bother anyone. An alcoholic is like the epicenter of an earthquake. The big quake starts with you, but everyone around you feels it so in relation to dealing with conflict everyone in your life is just as shaken as you when there is something that needs to be addressed. You don't like conflict and they fucking know it.
"Drinking is the symptom, not the problem" and the problem generally lies in our psychotic cycle of self-pity, poor reactions and egocentric adolescence we never grew out of cause we started using or drinking instead of practicing normal development and conflict resolution. Instead of coming to mature resolutions like "One of the only things I have control over is my reaction" it was "he, she or it is making me so pissed off I couldn't help but throw that $4,000 keyboard out the front door" [or insert whatever INSANE action and justification you went with (in my defense he was a SELFISH ASSHOLE)] so soon enough we were creating problems to drink instead of drinking because of our problems.
There's a few conflict styles I've seen with alcoholics and just like any recovery process identifying them is the first step in the process of change. Here are a few I have encountered and a contrast with how a normal, mature healthy non "addict" OR the ideal might compare:
The Defender: This person is always ready to snap back and always has to come out on top. Appearing very argumentative, the defender typically has stockpiled a list of ammunition against anyone who might even vaguely criticize something they have done. Internally, nothing you say will effect their ego, if you continue to push them they will simply blame it on your jealousy, your lack of reason, your socioeconomic status and the fact that you are just out to get them.
The Salesman: This person doesn't get angry, but they are filled with justifications even OJ Simpson would envy. Always having to be right, the will run rhetorical laps around you until you leave in a tired complacency thinking okay, you win, I just need to get out of here.
The Passive Aggresser: Passive aggressively and publicly they admit to doing things that they suspect other people of doing, they have a I'm-better-than-everyone-because-I-can-admit-my-wrongs attitude. Instead of addressing a problem, they leave notes or gossip behind your back with the secret hope it's going to get back to you. Instead of asking you directly if you did something, they say "somebody is blankety blanking and I hate it!" right in front of you.
The Aggressor: This person charges like a bull at any suspicion even if false. Their imagination can take them to some pretty crazy places and they don't have the mental intervention to stop and tell themselves to calm down and check the facts. If you've wronged them, you will know it and their irrational rage may never allow them to reconsider or forgive. Trying to get this person to the point of reason can be a daunting task.
The Stutterer: This person obviously doesn't know how to just spit it out. They approach things with words like "may have" or "maybe possibly" or "could you maybe have". You know what they are implying, but obviously they are too bound by fear of conflict to engage in it so they are just doing perouettes on the outskirts.
Conflict is the beginning of consensus, coming to a common denominator that we can all be happy with and should be looked at as such. Too often we look at our differences with blame and resentment. So and so is not doing things like I would like them too so in effect they are wrong and I need to fix them. We feel anger that we have to fix things, we feel shafted that they can't read our mind, we feel superior that we know how to do things and other people do not which causes intolerance and hatred. On the other side, we feel oppressed by others that are casting expectations and judgement, we feel resentful of those who are trying to control us and make us adhere to their standards and we are threatened by almost any approach that demands change. A more healthy approach is solution oriented and realizing that change, although uncomfortable is not a bad thing. When approaching others the first thing to think about is your intentions and if they are to create a solution or they are intended to hurt, belittle or overpower them. It's amazing what kind of conversations can happen when driven by good intention.
Note: I am not a motivation speaker, just a hack psychology major with a drinking and thinking problem that over analyzes everything and would like to embody these suggestions, but most of the time has the emotional maturity of an otter pop.
An affirmation is something you tell yourself in the mirror to try and get yourself to believe it. Blasphemy is when you speak negatively about something that is sacred. Positive blasphirmations are when you speak negatively in the mirror about something sacred thus taking away it's power. Plus the word "blasphirmation" is just pretty fun to say.
I had a roommate that relapsed and contrary to popular advice, I gave her some tips I had developed to help me be a better alcoholic. Of course abstinence is touted as the only way, but I found that I could program my subconscious mind while I was sober to perform better when I was drunk. And of course I am a proponent of simply not drinking, but easier said than done. I knew that she wasn't ready so I gave her these Positive Blasphirmations to help her be a better drunk. Always do these Blasphirmations sober and in front of a mirror. Repeat them to yourself as much as possible. The more you repeat, the more your subconscious mind will believe them.
"I do not sleep with homeless people" - Hey, a homeless person is just a person that temporarily doesn't have a house, no hard feelings, however, I don't want to be sleeping with any of them. If you repeat this sentence and go ahead and just insert "anyone" in there it actually helps a lot and makes your drunken self take a pause before you get in bed with anyone.
"I am a jovial dipsomaniac" - Telling yourself that you are a happy drunk and believing it with all your heart and might will help your self-conscious be your ideal wing man. When you're having fantasies of breaking a saloon chair over a guys head, your little voice will say "what are you talking about, you're a great guy, you don't do stuff like that, tsk, tsk!"
"I do not put keys in things while I am drinking" - Not your car, not your friends car, not your house, not your keys in your friends car. Once I tried to put my keys in a car I'd mistakenly got into and worked on that for a full hour before discovering I was halfway to a grand theft auto charge.
"I talk graciously to authority" - You tell yourself over and over that you are not a vigilante, you are not the uni-bomber, you are not Wyatt Earp, you are just a fine citizen with a 'polite' buzz who will listen to those in higher positions whose interest is to keep you safe. When you regain your sobriety again you can go back to your stance of civil disobedience, but leave your drunk self out of it.
Dead serious. I found these really helped and cut down on the number of party casualties I was having by at least 80%. The best way is to stop drinking PERIOD, but it takes something beyond will power for most of us to do so.
10. You're a complete failure and so here take all my money.
9. You're a complete failure, but please don't take my money in the top drawer.
8. I have nominated myself to micromanage you and make sure you do everything correctly.
7. If you love me than you will not have another drink.
6. You had another drink even though I told you "If you love me you will not have another drink" so you must hate me.
5. Drinks on me!
4. So you can't just be like normal?
3. It's okay that you ruined the quincenera by shooting the pinata with a .22 caliber rifle and shitting on the cake, just don't do it again.
2. I'll murder you if you don't drink so you may as well drink because you want to anyway and now you can be alive drunk instead of dead sober.
1. You are a disappointment to your mother.
AA MEETINGS ARE FULL OF INSPIRATION QUOTES THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP AND SOMETIMES DO. BUT WHY NOT HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF FUN AND DROP SOME WORDS OF WISDOM THAT SOUND LIKE THEY SHOULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE, BUT MAKE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.
"Having a drink is like throwing a rock and expecting it to hit you in the face"
"One down means five to go."
"FEAR is just an acronym for Faith Eating Amoeba Regime"
"Be on top of your game or bottom's up!"
"Drinkin' reminds me of drinkin'."
"Speak clear or beer enter here." (point to mouth)
"Talking about drinking is like having a drink spilled on your subconscious."
"Next time you want a drink think 'What would I do if I was the me in the now, but the future me who was me made me past me so I could see how future me is able to quit."
"If you can't manage your drink than you'll always drink to manage."
"Take a load off or get loaded."
"Get lit or get enlightened."
"God's road is never closed for repairs."
If you're a problem drinker and have ever found yourself in the uncomfortable position of declining a drink at a social function, it can be hard to think on your feet and not spit out the awkward "I'm an alcoholic". Here are ten other reasons you can give that will stop a drink pusher in their tracks.
1) "I'm over hydrated" - Nothing will bore a drink pusher faster than a dissertation on the harmful effects of over hydration. Feel free to really get into the physics of it. "Did you know that hyponatremia can cause confusion, headaches, nausea and bloating?" The drink bearer will retreat faster than your will power.
2) "Is it okay to take that with my anti-psychotic?" OMG, did you just say that? I was joking, but it worked didn't it?
3) "I'm on a diet, get that outta my face!" - You can say this with humor. Diet jokes are an easy fallback to actual, well thought out wit. Just like jokes about coffee, everyone will get a chuckle, roll their eyes and go back to the meaningful conversations they were having with someone else.
4) "My dad is an alcoholic" Blame it on someone else. I'm sure your dad (who has never had a drinking problem) will be happy you threw him under the bus in order to preserve your sobriety. After all, he's the greatest guy on the planet and even in the wake of your disappointment has always been there for you. No one is going to question this, it sounds like you had a fucked up upbringing. That's what they are all here to forget about!
5) "I'm driving" Maybe you are driving, maybe you aren't. Maybe you've had three DUI's and everyone knows about it. In any case make sure you have a spare set of keys to jingle through out the night to prove the point that you are definitely driving.
6) "Fuhgetaboutit" No explanation needed. You're that guy/girl. The drink offerer may think you didn't hear them, but they're not going to ask again.
7) "I'm actually allergic to alcohol" I've heard that alcoholism is really an allergy so this isn't a lie. You might be lying about everything else in your life, you're an alcoholic after all, but at least you can put a truthful twist on why you can't drink.
8) "Oh no, I shouldn't have that, I'd ruin everything." This is even more truthful. You aren't outright saying you are an alcoholic just simply teasing at it. This might open up the conversation to hyperbole about the hypothetical things you might do if you take that drink. Be flirty!
9) "I only drink Courvoirsier". No one ever has Courvoirsier and you look super too classy for everyone. Just make sure you study how to say it first or your cover is blown and you look like a jack ass.
10) "My IBS is flaring up" Oooooookay, so if all else fails no one wants the party fail of having the bathroom smell like their was a pipe blown. Nuf said.
First off, I'm not an anthropologist.
I'm just a woman sitting in my bedroom fuming about one of my roommates and considering the concept that maybe women are responsible for the world's alcoholism.
Bare with me.
I live with a few other women and there has been no greater obstacle than the patience, fear and discomfort I have had to sit with in dealing with them. I can only imagine how men feel. And I know there are women out there nodding in agreement. It has truly been a legit obstacle. Here are a couple reason's why and some of these are common in dealing with the "every" woman and some are particular to women specifically in recovery.
1) JEALOUSY/ENVY AND HATERISM - Unfortunately, I am starting to think women generally don't want what is best for other women. Oh, they do if that woman is beneath them and will never even get close to even, in that case women love being hero's to raise their own score. But in my observation most women become threatened by another woman who is thinner, stronger, more beautiful, more intelligent and a plethora of other things and want to even the score. This is an attitude I do not understand myself perhaps because I am always the Cinderella. I strive to gain and when I do, it is quickly torn apart by the nearest step sister archetypal manifestation. I, like Cinderella, am somewhat oblivious to the intentions and continue to serve others which I innately standby as one of my true purposes. I like friends in higher places, I want to learn from them or be seen with them admittedly. I'm one of those women that truly is happy when something good happens for another. These concepts of the Hater woman are ones that have continuously had to be explained to me, but enough times that I am beginning to recognize them. Why are all of these women continuously "coming at me"? It's crazy.
2) PARANOIA - More in recovery than not I see the questioning of true intention. And it is true that in the world of addiction people had to manipulate to get what they want. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. The alcoholic who drank someone else's vodka than filled it back up with water so they wouldn't notice, the drug addict who slept with someone for a fix, anyone who has stolen anything so they could have money to feed the addiction. There were also psychological manipulations of others...verbal and emotional abuse to get our boyfriends to behave how we wanted, acting out behaviors to get our parents to behave how we wanted, all kinds of control tactics to get the world to succumb to what we felt were our needs. The addict is also victim to manipulation by the disease as they justify that everything is manageable when it is clearly not, that it is no one else's business cause they are not hurting anyone, that they don't have a problem because they are able to maintain a job and on and on and on. Another way that women manipulate is by being passive aggressive. They may loudly proclaim a general disliking for cake-makers while another woman who is a pastry chef IS IN THE ROOM. Taking passive jabs is a way to try and manipulate others into feeling inferior while putting oneself in a higher position. This is a very common thing I have observed with women in recovery or not.
Women, I feel, are particularly the more talented sex when it comes to manipulation and that in part may be due to our power dynamic with men. From a young age we are shown that we have power over men when it comes to flaunting our sexuality. We are able to manipulate men into getting what we want by the implication they will receive sex in return. Whereas men, I feel, customarily have learned to extract things they want in more forceful or aggressive ways.
Unfortunately, when it comes to getting sober these lingering manipulations exist even though, if you are working a program, these are the exact flaws you are trying to bleach out of your every day existence. It can create an air of personality confusion and paranoia not knowing if you are crazy and stuck in old thought patterns or if others are engaging in their addictive behaviors and gas lighting you to distract from their own garbage. And women, like I said, are relentlessly engaging in such manipulations daily. God, I need more men in my life.
Luckily, these are things you can take to a "sponsor" or an objective person and untangle. But it's all extra work! And in the end you discover that none of this is your business in the first place! All that work for nothing?! Women, ugh.
3) HORMONES - Women are biologically disposed to conflict (this is hyperbole and me just being an ass as I'm currently on a "time of the month" schedule). But seriously, when spending loads of time with other women there are otherwise unexplainable feuds that arise simply from our body chemistry. I'm not just talking about periods either. There are other hormones like Cortisol which determine how we respond to stressful situations. In a weird study women who were shown angry faces began to produce more of the hormone whereas men just checked out. So you can imagine two women going at it is a stress snowball, collecting cortisol as it continues to grow in intensity. Also, if you happen to be a female that generally has higher levels of estrogen or progesterone you are more prone to mood swings, sleeplessness, anxiety and other agitation. These are phantom issues that one may not blame or even be able to identify that cause outward conflict leaving others to wonder "what's her problem?" or "what's wrong with me that this person keeps targeting me?"
4) ENERGY - When I think of energy, I use the concept interchangeably with spirituality. When someone's energy is out of balance or poorly maintained they lack the ability to transcend the world, their problems and every little thing in their life appears huge and important. Some day we are going to die and most of this shit isn't going to matter. The things that will matter are our relationships with each other and how we treat our fellow human beings. Unfortunately, existing on different spiritual energy planes can pose an obstacle to connection and it can be frustrating as all heck. I'd never say that to another woman though, she will find a way to "appear" spiritual so as to manipulate the situation to get what she wants. I'm joking...kind of. I'm not saying I'm the most spiritually enlightened person ever or that I'd even be one to teach on this topic. I'm certainly still in pupil status and studying, working diligently and struggling to apply what I learn. Application is the most difficult part. I had a Buddhist monk for a therapist and he once told me "It's easy to smile when every one is smiling back, but what if they are frowning?" (See also cortisol response to frowning in 3) HORMONE'S....IT AIN'T EVEN UNDER MY CONTROL MR. MIYAGI!)
5) CULTURES AND BACKGROUNDS - Not just women, but obviously this is just another fucking barrier to understanding each other. I had a Vietnamese roommate that wouldn't say anything if something was bothering her and she'd slowly shut down more and more then it was my job to identify there was a problem and seek out to remedy it. Women being the great manipulators they are will use culture to one up or alienate another woman. This isn't just women, this is a product of mob effect or Group think that happens in many cultures where people are unable to think for themselves and base judgement on personal interaction instead of prejudices that have been passed down or constructed by their society. It is a widespread problem that exists in many societies, America and it's many colors included. See also nationalism or jingoism. As it pertains to women, like I said, anything they can and will use against you.
6) MENTAL CHALLENGES AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS - Just because somebody is sober does not mean they are not on some kind of mind altering substance. Many people take SSRI'S, Anti-psychotics, med's for depression, anxiety and a number of other psychological ailments. I'm not saying it's bad, the reality is though that there are side effects to most medications which can sometimes present interpersonal challenges. Some side effects may be: Irritability, suicidal tendencies, mood swings, lethargy, lack of passion. My mother-in-law was on Zoloft and admitted to me that she felt like harming others which is not a common side effect, but you can see how that could pose some problems! Then there are people who have mental challenges that are under diagnosed, untreated (by either therapy or drugs) and can be underlying issues that cause mental goose chases for everyone else trying to understand what the problem is when everything else looks fine. Women manifest these differently then men do, but quite frequently scapegoat other females for the discomfort they feel within inside their own mind.
Now I'll bring drinking into the equation. It's not hard to see the allure of numbing oneself in regards to interactions with women. In sobriety women are some of my least favorite people (God, did I just say that out loud?). But in my drinking life when we were reduced to our lowest common denominator without all the other pretensions, energetic barriers, mind control and need for total domination women were my favorite pals always down to dine and ditch, run into a bush to pee and drip dry and dance our asses off until morning. We had each others backs when guys were the enemy and I could go and snuggle next to my girlfriend in bed while she wipes off my drunken tears. Now the only women I feel comfortable doing this around are actually gay men.
Please tell me your thoughts on this. I'm just going to keep on writing whether people answer or not with hopes that this catharsis keeps me from manifesting the many colors of madness within my own being. Also, I am only nine months into sobriety so my support roots don't go that deep. I have heard that relationships among women who are in active recovery together are more deep and fulfilling as time goes on. Thank you for your supportatage!
So I’m an alcoholic, yada yada yada…which means I’m sick of drinking away my life and yet secretly trying to find ways that it might be okay to do so. I want to be sober, but I’d like to enjoy my sobriety with a drink if that makes sense. Life would be perfect if I could only be sober, drunk.
I’m committed to this process of becoming sober, but ya know I’ve already decided I’m throwing my sobriety out the door if one of these things happens:
Imagine the kind of coping skills I could have if I spent my time reading about emotional regulation and distress management instead of coming up with strategies dependent on imminent failure. I may be doing it all wrong, but cynicism is a coping strategy in and of itself. Today, I’m making fun of my addiction not indulging in it. Maybe I’ll be that person that makes light of the end of the world as it’s happening to pull people out of themselves so they can have that perception instead of all encompassing doom. Or maybe I will party with Jesus AND Scott Disick during Armageddon and certainly say I had no regrets.