I win, YOU LOSE, said the self-righteous “dry drunk”

16 Feb

2:03 pm

I feel like I’m always bitching on my blog, but dudes, that’s what this is for, right? If you don’t want to read, you would’ve unsubscribed by now, I’m guessing.

Lately, I’ve been feeling angry. Self-righteous, I guess might be the right word. I can say with absolute certainty that a significant part of my NOT succumbing to my cravings is the fact that by not drinking, I win. I WIN! And, more than that, they lose. THEY LOSE. In this mindset, it becomes a zero sum game; and, admittedly, it does help me say to myself, No, Drunky Drunk Girl, you’re SO not drinking over them. You’re SO not letting them win.

Who is this “them?” Well, it’s all the folks who thought I couldn’t do it, who hated (and continue to hate and semi-hate) on me for actually doing it (it’s the whole “If I have zero, at least it’s more than you have if you’re drinking away what you don’t have; so keep drinking and make me feel better about having nothing”); friends, family, employers (former). It’s everyone who’s made me feel like I was a shitfuck, someone not worth helping or saving, someone who even though she did most everything right, somehow doesn’t deserve ANY of her success for doing this one fucking thing wrong.

Making amends? Shit. There are people whom I don’t think I can forgive–let back in, I should say–for not having forgiven me! Shut me out? Well, when you open that door, don’t expect me to be there. That’s family stuff, but it boils down to the same for everyone: I win when I don’t drink, and you lose. You lose your bets against me. You lose your justification for holding a grudge. You lose your smug smirk and false sense of pride–the only things protecting you from your truth(s) are your pride and my drinking, because both allow you to continue lying to yourself.

Yeah, it’s twisted. But, it’s really, really hard for me to NOT feel this way. And, when I stop the OBVIOUSLY negative self-righteous rising, when I stop indulging that bitter and angry side, I can see that good things have come my way. I have my sobriety. I have my life. I have my work. I am getting paid to do what I’m (relatively) good at. I have great friends who love me. I have a LOT. I must have done something right, right?

All I can say is, at 4.5 months, I feel this way every time I seriously think about throwing in the towel. And, it’s a factor in resisting the urge…along with a bunch of other “better” reasons, of course. The anger passes, and I move on to feeling and being grateful–glowing with contentment, happy with myself for my steadfastness (for once) re: not drinking, and at peace with how things are between me and “them”–time heals all wounds, right? What I usually do is go for a long walk with the dogs, or a run. Both those things dissipate the anger…until it boils up again the next time I start to head into one of my “thought ditches.”

I hope I’m not the “dry drunk” that AAers are talking about. It takes what it takes, I guess.

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11 Responses to “I win, YOU LOSE, said the self-righteous “dry drunk””

  1. Mrs D February 17, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    First – don’t apologize, ever. This is your blog so rant away baby we are here to listen if we want and will bugger off if we don’t (I’m cool with your ranting!). Second – from my uneducated perspective it seems to me you have to find a way to let go of your anger. We can’t control other people and their behaviour – we can only control how we respond to them. And third, you are right.. you will always win by being sober, regardless of whether it involves others ‘losing’ or not. You are a winner. Stay calm and lovely and sober and everything else will either fall into line with your mentality, or bugger off. Either is fine, right? xxxx

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 18, 2013 at 4:33 am #

      Thanks, Mrs. D! So well said. Yup, letting go and moving on is key to me staying sober for myself, and no one else. No one else really cares, I must say! So, why do I even involve them? Thanks for this… xx

  2. carrythemessage February 17, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    Your blog, your rules! Vent as much as you need to. All we can do is share our experiences, however way they go and are guided. We all have our little sandboxes and sometimes we just need to kick sand around…we can always tidy up and build sandcastles later.

    As far as my experience with this kind of thing – this me vs. them – is that I had to let go of the “them” and the power they had over me. I figure they’re not lying in bed at 3am thinking about me, so why I am doing that over them? Like Mrs. D says, we can’t control other people’s actions, thoughts and behaviour, but we can control our reactions towards them. And I take that to heart when dealing with others, and I feel disturbed or stirred up in any way. I learned to also let go of the revenge fantasies and “in-your-face!” kind of posturing that was keeping me going at some points in my recovery. Resentments started to eat my lunch, so letting those go as well lightened the load.

    In the end, I just stopped keeping score. I didn’t think of what others thought of me any more. It really got to me when I went down that road. It wasn’t easy letting this all go, but I had to, or I would have drank again. It didn’t do me any good to drink *at* people, and did me even less good to get sober *at* people.

    My recovery is for me, of course, as is yours for you. You have lots going on well for you – your job, friends, etc.Why not add “peace of mind” to that list too? That has been critical in my recovery.

    You’re doing a wonderful job, DDG! Being sober out of spite won’t last long. Doing it for self-love and a better way of life will.

    Vent as you need – I’ll still be around reading!

    Cheers 🙂

    Paul

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 18, 2013 at 4:42 am #

      First up, I LOVE that bit about the sandbox–I admit, I did sort of write that post knowing full well that I was acting like a little kid kicking around sand in my sandbox! Hahaha. But, y’know, like you said, it takes time to let go of your resentments…I know it’s all in my head, but it’s hard when it comes to family members and close friends. Still, I have to try to see it from their side and remember, I acted the fool and did/said some pretty horrible things while drunk, so…

      And, that’s sort of what I’m doing, isn’t it? Staying sober *at* people? Yes. It’s nice to hear that someone else went through this and can actually say what worked and what didn’t. I know that staying sober at people cannot last/work for long, and I know it’s just serving me now, but at least I know this and eventually, will let it go out of necessity for my own peace of mind.

  3. Belle (Tired2012) February 17, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    it’s also possible that you’re angry because ‘they’ don’t yet see what you ‘know’. you’re changing for real. you’ve left that shit behind. you’re grooving and improving every single day. you’re so proud of yourself, and you should be, and why the fuck don’t they notice how hard you’re working at this! believe me, i get it. and i think that a certain amount of gloating / self-righteousness is required. what were doing is a big, hard, hairy deal.

    that said, shitty people are shitty, even if you’re squeaky clean. shitty people are shitty, even when you’re happily seeing sunshine and rainbows. in fact, the super shitty in my life will bring their shit INTO my parade with unicorns and sober cars and rainbows and try to share their shit with me. now THAT i can’t allow. my sober car unicorn parade is sometimes very tenuous at best. and i can’t really have any external distractions, especially negative ones. i just can’t allow it. is that choosing to live and let live? i don’t care, i think of it as self-protection. am i accepting how they are? i don’t care, i’m taking care of me. me first. you first. and you win every single day.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl February 18, 2013 at 5:00 am #

      Hahaha–sober car unicorn parade. LOVE IT!

      I love everything you said, and honestly, I think along the same lines–MY sober car unicorn parade, MY RULES–but I feel guilty, too! WTF? I feel guilty feeling good about myself, I guess. I feel guilty feeling self-righteous, or gloating–even though it IS, like you so correctly said, out of self-protection!

      There is also the factor of peeps NOT rooting for you because–precisely because–you’re getting your shit together and that scares them. I’ve seen it happen more than once: a friendship or two has gone cold, a sibling hasn’t called, people just go away. I know I have to accept this behavior and rock on, but…

      Anyway, less about them, more about me. The BEST progress I’ve made in my life, so far, has been during the times when I focused 100% on my own thing. Same rules apply here, I guess.

      Sober mack truck, coming through. 🙂

      • Belle (Tired2012) February 18, 2013 at 7:27 am #

        less about them… friends (and family) drift away for lots of reasons, not all to do with you! i lost several great friendships when i got married… i wasn’t as available to everyone as the single girl had been. My life dramatically improved and i really did hear some complaints. They liked it when i was the girl who dating ill-suited men, they liked that i was their babysitter, they liked that i could come to them. Then i had the nerve to get married… (which meant, for example, i wasn’t spending christmas here and there, i stayed home). yes, people don’t always appreciate it when you IMPROVE your life. i could cry for you , but i won’t! Beep beep, parade coming through …

  4. madwomyn February 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Yea, what they said! : )

  5. belowhermeans February 19, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    The only thing I do on my blog is bitch too. Bitch on, sister friend.

    If you’re a dry drunk, I’m one too.

  6. Lisa Neumann February 20, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    I’m sure people see me as a dry drunk at moments oh well. I’m not trying to be difficult, just trying to figure out life. I’m with belowhermeans …. we all bitch. Difference between me and you/others is that I did all my bitching in the secrecy of my journal. Some day I’ll share with you if I ever meet you. On another note, I truly find the venting very healing. It’s the keeping it in that’s the problem. I love your blog. You remind me of many things I have forgotten about early sobriety. You help me more than you know. Just wanted you to know. On a final note: I forgive other people so I can be happy. It doesn’t mean I let them back in my life, just means I’ve got them out of my head. I love Paul’s reply. I’m still a fan! xox

  7. Jenny February 21, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    You all are inspiring!! Such wonderful words of encouragement and hope – that is gets better! Jenny

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