I hate that word, bitter. Heck yes, I am bitter sometimes. Someone I cared about deeply told me I was bitter and needed to get help. She was right and I am. I drank for 10 years and did drugs heavily before that. I have been sober 2 and a half years. I think I have made some great progress, but let’s get real, I have a long way to go. I don’t want special treatment for my disease. Did you just laugh? You should. People treat addicts and alcoholics like lepers most of the time. I get many, “Good for yous,” to my face, but I don’t think most people understand the depth of the disease. I don’t expect them to. It is frowned upon to discuss in public because it makes others ‘feel bad.’ Which is not my intent. It is my existence.
I have made so many stupid decisions that affected my work life. I was unhappy where I was, so I left. Now my short lived resume is making it difficult to find a good job. I understand that because it looks like I have no consistency. Most people don’t understand that that was a symptom of my disease. It took a couple years of sobriety for me to truly understand, but I get it now. Am I bitter that I keep hearing no? Yes, but I understand it is my fault. I wish I could change my past, but I can’t. I can’t do anything, but move forward. So I do. I cry about it. Oh, yes. I cry. I have heard no from people I was sure believed in me. Nope. Flat out, “No.” Well, no with some lies thrown in. I am an addict in recovery, not stupid.
As far as life goes, I am beyond happy. I am grateful for each sober day. Rationally, I know a drink would not help me. I know I won’t have one. I know it would only make things worse. I know all those things. The disease whispers in my ear that it will numb the pain. It tells me it will help me forget all the people not giving me a chance. How do you not get bitter when you can’t get what you want over and over. When you watch people you could run circles around get hired over you? Sure, I am bitter about certain things. Isn’t everyone? I think some people are just better at hiding it. I can’t hide anything. Which forces me to grow. I get better at not being bitter. It takes time.
I go talk to my friends and family about it. That was awful and really hurt my feelings. I allow myself to be hurt. I am not immune now that I am sober. I also quit smoking (finally) so I don’t rely on that anymore either. It is up to me and God. Ok, God. So, I pray. Maybe I am more open with God than other people. To me, He knows my thoughts and heart anyway. Why not be honest? “Dear, God. I am mad.” Then I do something that makes me smile. Usually that involves my child, human or furry. Or cupcakes, always cupcakes. (Just in moderation.)
I think being sober forces you to do so much more self-reflection than most people normally do. What is an AA/NA meeting, if not self-reflection? The topic usually is something I needed to get out. The other day in my outpatient group I go to on visitors night, we talked specifically about what I was bitter about. I was madabout an extended family member throwing my “illness” in my face. She uses my disease against me and constantly brings up my past. It makes me mean. We talked about how the people we most dislike usually show us something within ourselves that we don’t like. Yep, how true. She brings out that meanness in me. That is my issue that I need to change. I need to be in control of myself. Dang. I am so tired of being the better person. BItter? You bet.
It was so much easier to be wasted constantly. I didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t present. I missed everything. Now I feel the everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. I am learning how to process those feelings for the first time at 30 years old. I hate being called bitter! BUT, I know it is true. I can be one bitter bitch. If you call me that, I want to show you how right you are. BUT, I need to be better. I need to rise above. I need to stop and asses. Anger will hurt me, too. I don’t need that. I need to focus on me. On things that are positive and good. Sure, addiction is there to tell me otherwise. There are people that will tell you otherwise. They don’t need to be part of your life. They are not helping. They are bitter, too. The difference between them and me, is that I am doing something about it. They aren’t. If they decide they do, then maybe it’s time to open that door. I can’t listen to them in the meantime. I am not here to save them. Chin up, buttercup. Everyday sober is a good day.