I didn’t realize you had a drinking problem

Last night I was having dinner with one of my best friends and he said he wanted to ask me a question. The last I was out with him for dinner he was with his wife and they saw my two tattoos I got this year and when I told them that this one was my sober date when I quit alcohol they said that’s wonderful and good for me. I’m pretty sure I changed the topic over to my other tattoo quickly and I didn’t think much about it afterwards. Then last night he pointed at it and said I never knew Dwight you had a drinking problem.

I was surprised. It was like a deep pressure on my chest and I was a bit frazzled and responded it’s not something I bring up usually, but if someone asks I’ll talk about it. I explained how I was a binge drinker and drank mass quantities 3 to 4 times a week and finally got the courage to say enough is enough. I didn’t go into details about how I had started drinking at age 13 and how it became a huge part of my life. He asked if it had affected my job at all, and I admitted it most likely did being hung over, not able to think clearly, and just being grumpy in the mornings. As we discussed it a bit more he just kept repeating I never knew.

Now this is actually a friend that I’ve known for 20 years. As I was driving home, I started to feel guilty of not telling him anything about this and even thought he could very well be offended. I started asking myself how did this come about. How is it we don’t share our struggles with those who love and support us? He also doesn’t know I took a 6 week leave of absence due to depression a year after my divorce.

It’s like I have two lives. The people I partied with real hard I obviously told I had quit alcohol and about 3 other friends I’ve told about the leave of absence and the depression I experience. For all my other friends, I just don’t go there …unless the topic would come up I guess.

I never thought this was strange until I faced it last night. I’m thinking now that I should of been able to tell one of my best friends the good, bad, and the ugly of “me” but I didn’t. I never disclosed it, so I guess I was hiding it all trying to present all is well. You hear this quite often though others saying, “I never knew they had a problem with …”. I’m not feeling overly good about all this. I can see where it’s not necessary with acquaintances, but with good friends this shouldn’t be the case.

I guess I was embarrassed and ashamed if I’m honest with myself. I’m always spouting how I just need to be me and here I was doing the opposite. Looking back now I know my friend would have been more then understanding and supportive, but I never gave him a chance. And who knows by me sharing my struggles maybe he would of opened up about some of his. Definitely an issue men especially have letting down our shields.

So there you have it. I guess there might be some wisdom in all this. You sometimes just never know what’s going on with your loved ones. For those with the struggles, reaching out and being vulnerable will provide an opportunity for others to give you support and to deepen that relationship. It definitely takes courage. I didn’t have it when it was all going down and even afterwards.

Be courageous my super heroes! Learn from my mistakes. Let others hold your hand when you’re falling and let them help balance you when you’re coming back uP. They are here for you.❤️

Dwight✌️

12 thoughts on “I didn’t realize you had a drinking problem

  1. I honestly think most people would say the very same thing, they never knew I had a drinking problem. My husband knew of course being in the same household but that’s about it. I have stayed pretty superficial with others for quite a few years now. ( That way I never get hurt anymore ) It would be nice to have someone I could open up to. Maybe I’ll reach out to this one old friend and ask her to go to lunch on a weekend or something. I do really like her! Everyone around here drinks it seems. I mean I’m not 100% sober but I’m way past needing a drink whenever I do something. Thanks for getting my brain going this morning! Have an awesome day!! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post! And there’s something really powerful about humility, vulnerability and transparency. It frees us and quite possibly could free someone else to choose differently for themselves. Pain is never wasted. I really can relate to this and needed the reminder myself so thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I was very open about my love of drinking I didn’t share my anxieties, fears and pain with anyone else at all – not even my husband. My BF B was the only person who said ‘I’m worried about you’. I’ve been open about giving up with everybody but not about how I really felt just saying I drank too much – same with my depression – I hide away until I feel better. I think shame is behind it as you say Dwight and this post shows how far you’ve come along the path of self acceptance and being your whole beautiful self 💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. even now, i still feel weird when i say no or admit that i have issues with alcohol. So many times people kind of made me feel like i was ‘wrong’ when i tried to explain. Usually, the initial reaction is “oh, come on- you drink like everyone else” or “having a a few drinks doesn’t make you an alcoholic” and so on..it always makes me either just shut up or my blood boils. I have actually been grateful for this time away from groups of people because i haven’t had to deal with it much.But you are correct that it’s different when we don’t talk about it with people close to us. You never know when someone will surprise you by admitting their own problems or being a great support person.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Within me I felt like a failure that I had let alcohol take such a huge role in my life and that I checked out/closet drank several times a week. I didn’t want this person to be disappointed in me or shocked. Smoke and mirrors. I was suffering and indeed reaching out would of been beneficial…but …that’s not how my mind was playing it out back then. I’m learning though. As always thanks for your support, Lovie.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I possibly ‘over share’ and I have had to learn to be more choosy about how much I tell others and who I talk to. I think it’s great you have worked this out for yourself though Dwight. I believe that if we bottle things up we fuel our addictions and we allow depression to seep into our lives. I also think we can inadvertently help others by talking openly about our own experiences because we remove the ‘taboo’ from what are extremely sensitive subjects. Keep on keeping on. I find your insight really helps me process my own emotions and thoughts. Sending love 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. I think the stigma of having a problem keeps us from talking about it. It’s sad that those of us doing something about our problem and improving our lives are the ones who have to feel ostracized and alienated from “society.” But this is the world we live in. I salute you and all others who are improving their lives. 🌟💛

    Liked by 1 person

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