In my first year of sobriety I took the role of "recovering" alcohol very seriously, as I should. Sometimes I think too seriously. I was letting the role of "recovering alcoholic" define me. Everything I did or said had my recovery in the background. I wonder if this wasn't a big of a defense mechanism for my own fear.
Fear that if I wasn't serious, then neither was my recovery. I was set on being a bit more serious, not so "flighty" as I was in my drinking days. I felt I had something to prove to those around me. That I was an example that should be followed. What a crock of "you know what"! The truth is I wasn't comfortable with my own sobriety. Like the disease I was letting it push me around. I was using it to hide behind. I was using my recovery to "be safe".
I didn't realize any of this until just last weekend. We were invited to an annual Christmas party, and I happen to wander into the family room where a beautiful wood fire was. I sat down next to the warmth when a person walked into the room and said, "oh, is this where the non-drinkers are"? I know they didn't mean anything by it, and this person knows I'm a recovering alcoholic, and yet I was a little taken aback. I should have replied, "no, this is where someone who wants to enjoy a nice fire goes"!
What this statement made me realize is that I don't want to be defined by my alcoholism. I'm me, just a person, not a drinker or nondriker. I have a disease, and I choose to not drink. However there are many other aspects of me: funny, witty, kind, compassionate, observant, intelligent etc. and I don't want to be labeled. I have no problem being a non drinker but it shouldn't define who I am. I sat amongst many drinkers and nondrinkers that night, and joked, and laughed, and had a great time.
And you know what? I didn't need to bring drinking into it to be myself. My alcohlism will always be a part of me. I will always need to be aware of the danger zone, but it doesn't dictate how I live. I choose not to drink. I choose to be sober. I also choose to laugh, and love, and live a full life! Alcoholism is a small part of me, the sober package makes up something so much better! Smiles......