Yesterday I told a co-worker/friend that I went to a great AA meeting that I really dug and planned on going back every Wednesday. I had told her 2 weeks ago that I quit drinking, and described my reason as wanting to do better for my kids, take control, etc. She congratulated me and said she was impressed and proud that I was taking this step.
Yesterday's reaction was quite different though, and it has me feeling quite frustrated and a bit irked. The conversation went somewhat like this:
Her: Oh wow, I didn't know you had a real problem...do you really think you need to go to meetings?
Me: Well, I wouldn't say I'm down on my luck or anything, but going to a meeting once a week to reinforce my desire to quit can't hurt, right?
Her: What, are you fiending for it everyday?
Me: Well, no, not fiending.. But I would say I definitely think about it.
Her: Oh, you don't have a problem. That doesn't sound bad if you aren't jonesing for it.
Me: But I was drinking everyday. That's definitely a problem.
Her: Shoot, I have friends who drink everyday. There's nothing wrong with that.
Me: Do they have kids?
Me: See? there's the difference. If something were to happen to my kids, and I was 3 drinks in, I wouldn't be able to take them to the ER. That's a problem.
Her: You can't drive on 3 drinks? Not that you should, but in an emergency you could.
Me: No, by drink #3 I'm pretty buzzed. And I don't want to risk driving my kids on 3 drinks. At night. In an emergency. Besides, what's wrong with wanting to quit just so that I'm a better parent? So that they never look back and say, "Wow, my mom was a drunk."
Her: Your kids would never say that. You are totally overreacting and being too hard on yourself.
Me: Ok, what about the whole new information that excessive drinking could definitely cause breast cancer?
Her: Look, 90% of all people will die from some sort of cancer.
Me: Well, it just doesn't seem very smart to fuel the fire and lock in the fact that you will definitely get breast cancer. Just like smoking. You are asking for it.
Her: I don't know. I just think there's nothing wrong with coming home and drinking. You are definitely overreacting.
Look, Hun. I have told myself for 2 years now that I have been overreacting every time I want to stop. I told myself I didn't have a problem. Now that I have FINALLY come to the realization that I NEED TO QUIT, I don't need someone else telling me I am overreacting. I mean really, who does that? How about, way to go! I'm proud of you! I'm glad you found a meeting you like.
Someone told me my first week, It can't hurt to stop drinking. It can do no harm. The alternative is to continue drinking, possibly with a problem, possibly with something bad happening. The only thing quitting can do is make things better!
So, suck-it co worker/friend. Work on your etiquette skills.