Telling my family and friends

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Telling my family and friends

Postby Mwilliams » Sat May 28, 2016 7:08 pm

After years of hiding the extent of my drinking problem from almost everyone I know, I have finally decided to face my alcoholism head on and attended my first meeting tonight. I have told my husband, but no one else in my life. I know the next few weeks are going to be tough and I want support, and my close friends and my mom and I often drink when we see each other so it would be best if they knew. I live quite a distance from them, so we won't see each other face to face for at least a month.

I am really afraid to tell them my hope to live sober because I'm not sure I will be successful. When did you tell your family you were in AA, and is there a way you would recommend telling them?
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat May 28, 2016 8:18 pm

A time will come when you work the 12 steps using the guidance from the big book (Alcoholics Anonymous) with the help of a sponsor you will be freed of the obsession. You can share your recovery then.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby 4thDimension » Sat May 28, 2016 9:48 pm

Hi and Welcome M!

Congratulations on making your first meeting!

I think who to tell and when is a personal decision and a sponsor can certainly give guidance with that. My mother always, :), wanted me to get help for my drinking, so she was supportive. Women I dated were supportive too. Something you may find, as many of us have, is that those who don't have the disease don't understand it very well; sometimes they think we can have just one. I will never be able to safely have a drink, and the program allows me to live a happy life without it.

Best wishes and happy sobriety!
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Timotheus » Sun May 29, 2016 6:54 pm

Hi Mwilliams!

I am in the exact same situation - spouse knows everything and is super supportive, but siblings, friends, and in laws are still operating under the assumption I'm still the fun-loving, hard-drinking, beer and cocktail nut they've known for years. I haven't had to say anything yet, but the next time I'm offered a drink or questioned about why I'm not drinking, I have no idea what I'll say.

Interested to hear the thoughts from some experienced members.
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby avaneesh912 » Sun May 29, 2016 8:02 pm

You can say something like I am having allergic reaction to alcohol so my doctor advised me to try stay away for alcohol to test the theory.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Lali » Sun May 29, 2016 9:29 pm

Welcome, Mwilliams! If you fear telling your friends because you may not be successful, then just keep it light. I would let them know before you have your next face to face meeting so that the plan is not to meet in a bar or a restaurant that has a bar-like atmosphere. Why not just tell them that you are embarking on a healthier lifestyle and that you are taking a hiatus from drinking. Or you might say that lately you don't like the way alcohol makes you feel (or act...) You don't have to say you are quitting for life; just that you are taking a break.
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Noels » Mon May 30, 2016 5:49 am

Halllooo and welcome :D in my situation everyone who was important to me knew before I did that I had a drinking problem. They were just too decent to say it to me. So I just told everyone from the start that I'm attending AA as I no longer wanted to hit my name with a brick and embarrass them all and myself. I was adamant that this is the last time I'm going to try so I just sucked it up, spilled it and allowed the chips to fall where ever it had to. The immediate support was tremendous so I'm pretty sure my behaviour was even worse than I initially thought.
I recently faced the other part of your post - some of our clients are personal friends so they were part of the " important to me " who I told from day one. A month or so ago I noticed that business on my side was slowing down from these particular people. I immediately wondered if it was because I'm not drinking anymore and shortly after i noticed this my hubby came home and told me they said they hope i didn't loose the fun side of me now that I'm no longer drinking. He explained to them that I'm still exactly the same person with the only difference that i don't wake up with that fear of what i did the previous day or night anymore. From my side i handed this matter over to my Higher Power and have been receiving business from other sources which i never even though of.
I also realised that its time for me to come " out of hiding " as i have been avoiding people, places and play things where alcohol could be a temptation so its time i visit our friends who stood by us through good and bad times so they can see that I am still the same person. I don't need alcohol to be funny or enjoy life. As a matter of fact, i now enjoy life more than when i was sloshed.
So whatever decision you make, do what is best for you for starters. Your family and those important to you will soon see and realize that you are still who you were but even better. :D
We don't " loose ourselves " when we stop drinking. We just " loose " the embarrassing behaviours and results from choices made when we were sloshed and emerge as a better version of what we used to be.
Good luck and looking forward to walking this journey with you.
Love and Light
Noels xxx

Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Larryp713 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:00 am

Welcome and good luck with your journey. As for telling others... That will come in time. For now, just focus on recovery. This program finally worked for me when I took direction: 90 meetings in 90 days, asked somebody to sponsor me, called that sponsor and listened to how they worked the steps, worked the steps as I was told, read the Big Book and get involved in a home group. By the end of my 90 days, I was a changed person and people were commenting on that. I then told those who I trusted that I was in recovery, and those fears were gone. I am blessed beyond merit and hope you will be soon... Larry
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Roberth » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:02 am

Hello Mwilliams and welcome to E-AA. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. When I admitted to my sponsor I was an alcoholic all he said was “good and now it’s unanimous.” We like to think we are hiding it well but everyone around me knew.
Like you I was afraid to say anything because I didn’t think AA would work for me. Other than my wife and son it took 3 years for the rest my family to find out I was going to AA. The funny part is after over 24 years sober I still get a messages or two on my office phone from people who call after my shift saying something like "sorry I missed you. you must be home having a beer by now." :lol: I don't say much to anyone unless they ask why and how I stopped drinking.
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby cpr123 » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:43 pm

I haven't had that problem with family or any friends my three little girls seem to let everyone know what I'm doing every evening. They took that burden off my shoulders. People at work don't know but that is my business not theirs.
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Chatillon » Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:37 am


I didn't tell my partner that I had stopped drinking for about 9 days after I stopped and three days after I started attending AA meetings. I got a much more positive reaction than I expected. Of course he knew that I wasn't drinking but it was kind of the elephant in the room, we just didn't want to talk about it.

Last night we were out for dinner with some friends. About half way through the meal one of them asked why I wasn't drinking. I just said that I had the cold and I didn't like to drink alcohol when I was feeling like this. I wasn't ready to tell her the real reason, however her sister is in recovery and I suspect that she might of guessed as she asked about it a second time.

We are going on holiday with some friends in a few weeks and I think I am going to tell them that I am on antibiotics and that's why I am not drinking.

Maybe I am wrong to do this but I want to of been sober for a few months before I start telling people.

My parents will be more of a challenge as I believe they both have alcohol problems themselves.
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby Brock » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:19 am

Maybe I am wrong to do this but I want to of been sober for a few months before I start telling people.

Welcome here Chatillion. Personally I like your idea, some folks believe that by telling everyone we get a base of support, and some mention these people keeping us 'accountable.' I found the antibiotics story worked well, but then someone questioned why I was taking them and that caused another lie to be invented. But generally I have found most people understand when we say simple things, like I find alcohol upsets me, or I have developed an allergic reaction to alcohol, both of these are true, when pressed any further I sometimes say I have drank more than my fair share in my life, and it no longer agrees with me. If anyone who has a problem with alcohol hears us say this it still leaves the 12th step door open, because they have the opportunity to ask if we had trouble stopping, or say they would like to stop themselves, then we can be more open about the road we are traveling, maybe you will stick around here and let us know how your journey is going, best of luck.
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby tyg » Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:12 am

Welcome to the Forum MWilliams.

I do/did not tell anyone except on an as "need to know" basis. It really is nobody's business unless I think it will be helpful to someone to know I have this illness. I may be an alcoholic but my alcoholism is not important outside the Fellowship and does not define the person I am and is why my anonymity is very important to me.

I found that most people, family included, are not paying attention to what I am drinking or care if I am drinking. Having a dressed up tonic water or soda in hand at social drinking gatherings will help and keeps others from asking questions or if you'd like to order a drink. If things get too uncomfortable, you can leave the event early or...just take a break in the parking lot or bathroom for a bit. Breathe, pray, call someone and talk about it before going back in.
If you want to stop drinking, here's how to start:
Go to some meetings in your town
Get another alcoholic to take you through the 12 Steps asap
Make a meeting your home group, show up regularly, get in to service there

#2 is most important see pamphlet on Sponsorship: I just picked a woman with 43 years. The more we sat down together, the more comfortable I got to let them teach me how to apply the 12 steps in my life and recover from alcoholism.

Keep posting, I look forward to reading more of you :D
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Re: Telling my family and friends

Postby clouds » Sun Jul 31, 2016 7:21 am

Welcome Mwilliams. :)

I did the same as you, I told my husband right off at the beginning as soon as I myself recognized that I was an alcoholic. Then as the months of sober days in AA rolled along I let other of my relations know when it was appropriate and I felt more stable in sobriety.

Best wishes to you. AA really does work.
I'm glad you found this resource online and I hope you'll find many meetings where you hear the message of sobriety in the very near future.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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