I usually don’t address rumors but this one bothers me on a variety of levels. Mostly, that I found out a fellow writer who I confided in has been the one spreading the rumors. We hung out and talked, and now I hear he’s been telegraphing everything I said.
Anybody who’s close to me knows I’m sober now. I don’t drink or do drugs. I used to. I used to, a lot, from about the age 15 to when I finally stopped in my 40’s.
I can’t do anything about my loudmouth friend. He has his own issues. I figured out it was him when I spoke to another pal, a writer, also sober, who is friends with this yappy fellow. I said something about enjoying being sober and there was a long silence. Didn’t take long to connect the dots.
Funny though, the last couple times I heard from him he wanted me to get him pot. People are funny.
Here’s the thing, I LOVE being sober. I love, love, love it. I feel better, I have more energy and fun and I very rarely have to apologize for my behavior anymore. I have had more fun in the last few years then I ever had. Probably because I’m really feeling everything for the first time.
Even writing is more fun for me now. I had that stupid idea that once I sobered up I wouldn’t be able to create art. It’s so not true. I can’t speak for the quality, that’s up to you, but I am much happier with my work the last few years.
And this brings me to the next thing…
I don’t think people mean anything, but when I go to a bar (usually at cons where all cons wind up) and I’m fine standing there and talking, inevitably somebody wants to buy me a drink. When I politely say I don’t drink, I get one of two reactions… “Aw, come on, have one with me!” or they look at me sadly like I just told them I have terminal cancer.
If I had my way AA would be called Fuck Yeah Sobriety. To me sobriety is something to be celebrated not scorned or sad about. Sober people have fought long and hard to stand there and say they don’t drink. Instead of sadness or badgering try saying congratulation.
I have no problem with people drinking or whatever around me. Most of my close friends drink. I respect what they do and they respect what I don’t do. Very simple.
For a long time I would actually order a fake drink ala Bruce Wayne to ward off the shot buyers but I realized I was playing into the shaming. I was afraid people would judge me. Now I know better.
Just so we’re clear. I’m far from perfect. I slip and I’ve fallen. I have small relapses and big relapses, but each time it gets easier to get back to where I want to be.
Anyway, just wanted to get that off my chest.
My name is Steve Niles and I’m an addict and I love being sober more then anything in the world.
Fuck Yeah Sobriety.