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Was I BU or were they?

52 replies

1drink · 26/06/2017 20:12

I've NC, it's very identifying anyway but here goes.

It was my sister's birthday last week so on Saturday we all had a get together. I'm a recovered alcoholic. I can now drink 1 or 2 drinks and leave it be. I have no intention of ever getting 'smashed' again.

On Saturday my cousin was handing out glasses of Prosecco and handed me a flute. My sister's DH then said "What the fuck are you doing [cousin], [1drink] can't drink anything at all! You know she shit she's put [my DM] through these past few years." Cousin then apologised, looked embarrased as she had no idea and then took my flute away.

My aunt and uncle whom also had no idea then spent the rest of the evening watching me and asking what was going on. I now feel like my personal life has been put on show for all to glare mawkishly at. My sister knew about my alcoholism and I'm under no illusion that she kept it hidden from her DH but for him to show me up at like that really riles. I did send him a message saying that he was out of order and now sister thinks I was BU. I'm now wondering did they all know and I've just naively been thinking I managed this and got over it without my whole family knowing everything.

OP posts:

RhiWrites · 26/06/2017 20:14

It's your business to manage your alcoholism, so they shouldn't have embarrassed you like that.

But has your drinking embarrassed them so they thought you shouldn't be given any alcohol?


mickeysminnie · 26/06/2017 20:18

You were an alcoholic, yes they all knew. As did everyone you know! Alcoholics are not difficult to spot and as much as the alcoholic has blinkers on the rest of society doesn't even if people are too polite to point it out.


UserThenLotsOfNumbers · 26/06/2017 20:25

His comments were nasty and unnecessary. Regardless of what you may or may not have done in the past he sounds very angry to have such an extreme reaction.
Well done for getting sober OP.


Supersoaryflappypigeon · 26/06/2017 20:27

What a knobhead. I'd have been mortified. Poor you op Flowers


FakePlasticTeaLeaves · 26/06/2017 20:29

This makes me angry for you OP! Your sisters husband was completely out of order, he had no right to talk about your business - and you were very right to let him know. Not only nasty to you but making your cousin and wider family uncomfortable as well.

Well done for getting sober - very pleased for you.


PaulAnkaTheDog · 26/06/2017 20:30

I'm confused tbh. Yes, it was handled terribly but family members don't know about your alcoholism, you occasionally drink etc? Sounds like mix ups are inevitable tbh. He was a dick but does it stem from your previous behaviour to his wife? I'm in no way condoning what he said but trying to understand it.


DailyMailReadersAreThick · 26/06/2017 20:31

YANBU! What an absolute tosser. Sounds like he couldn't wait to stick a boot in even though you've come this far.


Mrbluethecatt · 26/06/2017 20:35

While I don't agree with what he did, but I can understand his issue.

My dad is an alcoholic, he has put us through a lot over the years. Anytime I see him​ drink I get anxious and angry.

He knows the consequences of his drinking just appears to continue to do so. I do logically understand that it's not that simple, but emotionally every drink feels like a slap in the face and a big fuck you to all the harm he has caused.


1drink · 26/06/2017 20:42

To clarify, I was an alcoholic for 4 years. My mother and my sisters knew. Tbh initially it was only my mother but as I see my sisters a lot they found out. I've been sober for a while now and as such will occasionally have a glass of wine or whatever and leave it there. If I'm being entirely honest I do so because to totally abstain makes people ask more questions so I got into the habit of just holding a glass of wine. I don't wish to be where I was anymore. At my worst I was drinking a 1L bottle of vodka before midday with coke - disguised in the coke as no-one would think you'd have vodka in the glass at 10:15am or whatever.
It had never been my intention to tell my sisters but they found out. I didn't want anyone else finding out. And now I wonder if everyone has known all along. When my sister found out I knew that her DH would therefore be in the know but as she was also discreet and never brought it up I didn't think her H would bring it up and especially like he did on Saturday.

OP posts:

Changedtocovermyass · 26/06/2017 20:48

It sounds as though your addiction is a lot more obvious than you realise. Also as though you might be basically still hooked as that sounds like a lot of denial (a couple and I'm fine, people looking at you oddly and being very defensive about the problem). Lots of denial. Surely you need people to know, keeping it a secret is still in the sway.


RunRabbitRunRabbit · 26/06/2017 20:49

Pretty much anything you hear about alcoholics says they can't drink at all any more. You've never talked to your BIL about your circumstances so how is he to know you are an alcoholic who can have a drink and stop. He probably thought that the cousin was about to trigger a relapse right there at your sister's party. I expect he panicked.

If you put your DM though hell, then I am sure that whole family knows, including the cousin, who will genuinely have been mortified that she handed a glass of prosecco to the alcoholic.

BIL didn't plan it. He saw a disaster about to happen to his wife's sister at his wife's party, unexpectedly and he reacted.

The effects of addiction last long beyond the end of the drunkenness.

I think it very telling that you could only think of your own embarrassment and went so far as to text him to have a go at him without any attempt to see it from his point of view.

Selfish, rude, primary focus on hiding the addiction, no consideration of anyone else's feelings. Are you sure you are recovered?


WoofWoofMooWoof · 26/06/2017 20:57

From personal experience - my DM was an alcoholic. She manged to stop drinking for around 4 years, then had 1/4 of a glass of bubbly at my sister's wedding, and never stopped drinking again. Twenty years later she is now dead because of it.

It sounds to me like this is a slippery slope you're on, and soon 1 or 2 glasses might turn into 3 or 4 etc. It's not an addiction you can 'beat' if you don't stop completely.

Oh, and if you're an alcoholic, people know. They can see it and smell it. They may not say anything, but they know.


londonfeather · 26/06/2017 21:04

Often part of the recovery process for many alcoholics is admitting that most people around them know and knew about their drinking and breaking down the idea that they managed to conceal their addiction. I can understand that you may be upset with your brother in law but it might be worth revisiting your feelings around the addiction and trying to work on reactions to it.

I think anyone who has dealt with an alcoholic in the family will be put on edge seeing them accept a drink from all the decit that has gone before... that's not justifying his actions but will likely be the reason he reacted. It is very hard to rebuild trust around addition so even though you feel confident only having one - your family are likely to feel concerned seeing you with one.


FuzzyOwl · 26/06/2017 21:09

I would think everyone knew you were an alcoholic but that is not an excuse for your BIL to be rude to you or embarrass you in public. Maybe he has seen or heard what you can or have been like when drunk and wanted to avoid a scene so unintentionally caused a different type of one altogether.


nebulae · 26/06/2017 21:10

londonfeather is right, when you've lived through someone's alcoholism and come out the other side of it, the fear that they'll slide back into drinking again is terrifying.

My OH is a recovering alcoholic. He's been sober for nearly 10 years but I still have horrible dreams in which he starts drinking again. If I saw him with a drink in his hand I'd be devastated. Even if it was just one drink. I'd probably overreact as well.


1drink · 26/06/2017 21:21

I do think I hate him somewhat as this was so unnecessary. My sister has also had birthdays for the past 4 years without any whohaa. Granted she didn't hold a party for each one but still. I feel so angry with him because if the rest of the family didn't know before, they certainly do now.

OP posts:

MadMags · 26/06/2017 22:12

You sound like you're in complete denial about your drinking and its effect.


MadMags · 26/06/2017 22:12



RunRabbitRunRabbit · 26/06/2017 22:16

Yes it was unnecessary.

You should have refused the Prosecco because you are an alcoholic who caused great distress to your family and you were at a family party.

Surely your first instinct on being handed a drink in front of them would be to say "no thanks" out of respect for their past pain and ongoing fears.

You are only concerned about hiding your alcoholism. I don't think any recovery programmes recommend that approach.

You owe your BIL an apology. He was trying to help. Maybe he was a bit loud about it but he was trying to do the right thing.

Do you have a sponsor or someone like that you talk to?


Bluntness100 · 26/06/2017 22:19

Two things strike me as unusual op.

One,,you can now have a drink and walk away from it,
Two, you are more concerned about people knowing you are an alcoholic than about what drove his concern and reaction.

How long have you been sober for please?


RhubardGin · 26/06/2017 22:29

I think you might be in a bit of denial OP.

And I am astonished that as a recovering alcoholic you can have 1 or 2 drinks and walk away. That's like a drug addict saying they have recovered but occasionally have a line of coke.

Maybe her DH just said what everyone else was thinking?


MerchantofVenice · 26/06/2017 22:33

Nothing constructive to add... but you were right with 'effect' MadMags


LaurieFairyCake · 26/06/2017 22:38

Part of recovery is 'owning' it. If your close cousin doesn't know are you owning it enough?

Have you been recovered (as in no alcohol) for at least 5 years?

I'm wondering if you felt ashamed/embarrassed? And have turned that into anger against your BIL.

Flowers for you. What you have to do is hard.


Justmuddlingalong · 26/06/2017 22:41

Perhaps your BIL is aware of the stress your alcoholism caused his DW, your sister, and doesn't want your immediate family to have to deal with it all again. You having a drink or 2 to throw people off the scent seems a totally skewed way of thinking. Your alcoholism may not have been evident to everyone, but your unhealthy relationship with drink will have. And still will be. Having a sober alcoholic at parties can be uncomfortable. Having an alcoholic there who is having 'just a couple' is very uncomfortable.


MadMags · 26/06/2017 22:47

Aw man! Merchant, I thought I had it the first time then doubted myself!

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