Proud to Say It

By Marianne H.

There is absolutely no shame in being a sober alcoholic. On the contrary, it’s something to be very, very proud of.

At first I, too, didn’t want to tell anybody. Looking back, I think it was because I was afraid that if others knew that *I* knew I was alcoholic, I would be ashamed to have them see me drinking ever again, and I didn’t want to give up that very tempting thought that if I just got myself under control, I might get to where I could have just one Brandy Manhattan on a special occasion.

Well, this list taught me the whys of what I already knew — that for me, there was no such thing as one drink occasionally. And as I stayed sober longer after each relapse, I found myself feeling proud of my accomplishment. Because I knew just how hard it had been for me. Still is, for that matter.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t go around volunteering to everybody and their Aunt Sadie that I’m a sober alcoholic. But when the situation (pre-op exam, or explaining my involvement in LifeRing, for example) makes “I’m a sober alcoholic” appropriate, I’m damn fine proud to say it. And not one person has reacted badly, on the spot or later. Plus, I’m amazed at how many people have responded with “I’m one, too.” Or “So is my daughter.” “Boss.” “Best friend.” Etc.

Be proud of every sober day. There are an awful lot of alcoholics in this world who don’t have the strength and determination (courage, too, I have come to think) that you’ve shown in getting these sober days strung together for yourself.