In social situations, i’m very upfront about being in AA.
At the office, my coworkers and boss know i’m an alcoholic in recovery. When we get new employees i usually keep quiet about my situation but when the subject of drinking comes up (and in my office it always comes up), i have no qualms whatsoever fessing up to my disease and the cure.
The weirdest thing, though, is that when i meet a new client i feel driven to tell them i ‘m a teetotaler. i explain that about 2 years ago i had health problems and was hospitalized and that the doctor said i could drink specific quantities of alcohol over a specific time frame. (All of this is technically true.) i go on to say that this method was too inconvenient for me so i opted to simply quit outright. It would be more logical for me to shut up about it, but i don’t seem able to.
So i have a poll and a question for you.
What do you tell your entourage about your drinking? Please leave a note in the comment section, i’d love to hear what you say!
Some of you readers have been kind enough to remark on the honesty i display in some of my blog posts, and for that i thank you.
It’s a little self serving of me to take any credit, however, because all i’m doing in being honest is following one of the basic tenets of the program. i’m just “developing a manner of living which requires rigorous honesty” [from “Chapter 5: How It Works” of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, page 58].
Rigorous Honesty means being so honest i don’t even lie to myself. This is the most difficult kind of honesty to foster because often my brain doesn’t share the secret when it plays tricks on me.
There’s an expression my sponsor told me before doing Step 5 of the Twelve Steps (“Admitted to God, ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”):
You’re only as sober as your secrets.
Now, i don’t have to tell you guys all my deep dark secrets, but what i do decide to post here has to pass the truth test. “Rigorous honesty” means knowing that whatever i let slide will slide back on top of me one day.