I am very confused

I will try to keep this short, but I know if I don’t write about this to someone, I won‘t sleep tonight.

For this to make sense, I have to say upfront that I am an alcoholic in recovery; a bit over 3 years sober to be exact.

Today, one of my closest friends, a person who has been in my life for a pretty long time and knows me well, and knows about the stuff I went through, gave me a Christmas present.
She gave me a box with 4 little things inside.
I opened it and saw that 3 are wrapped, but one is not. So I looked at what it was, and it was a bottle of wine.

She gave me a bottle of wine.

I am trying to understand it, but I can’t. I really don’t understand it.
I almost relapsed a few weeks ago and am having a really hard time at the moment, and now this.

I am very confused.


Hey @fiji,

First off: big, big congrats for those 3 years of sobriety. That’s so amazing. I imagine that you’ve been through many ups and downs during this journey. And here you are, with a little more than 3 years of being sober. This shows a lot of your strength, friend. <3

I’m sorry your friend gave you that bottle though, especially since you are close to each other and they know about your battle against this addiction. I hear your confusion. There’s something that doesn’t really makes sense in this situation and you certainly didn’t expect to ever see your friend offering that kind of gift.

I don’t know to which extent she knows about your struggles or the details of what you’ve been through during the last years, but do you think she could have a wrong idea of what “recovery” means and, as a result, would have underestimated how much it affects you? I’m not trying to make any excuse, but I want to believe for you and her that there might be an understandable reason behind this gift. It feels like oftentimes those battles are silent and when people think someone is doing better then they want to go back to how it was before the recovery. Not with a bad intention but because they don’t always understand that this is an ongoing journey during which someone sets important boundaries that are not made to be negotiated. Sometimes those battles are so silent and invisible for others that people start to believe it’s not a battle anymore, while it’s still a weigh to lift on your end.

Did you have the possibility to talk to her about it? It sounds that you’ll both need to have a conversation about that. Both to make sure she understands why it’s a problem, but also to prevent a misunderstanding between you (if there was any).
But more importantly, did you got rid of the bottle? So you don’t have to deal with this unecessary stress on the top of everything else.

I’m sending hugs to you. :hrtlegolove:


She knows all about my struggles. She was there when it all started.
It’s weird. She gives me wine, and another friend who there from the beginning, keeps sending me memes about excessive alcohol consume. I don’t understand it.

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Like @Micro said, you need to have a conversation with both these friends to make sure they understand where you’re coming from, that recovery is a continual process and not a thing you did once. If they can’t understand or respect that, then you need to respect yourself and cut them out, like so many other bad influences you’ve undoubtedly cut over the years.


I don’t get it, they know me, well. But yes, I need to have a conversation with them, and it’s not going to be a fun one. They surly love their drinks… and they don’t always understand me.

We who are not alcoholics or addicts can’t understand your daily struggles. We lack perspective. It’s so easy for us to say “well just don’t drink.” The only reason I have any idea what it’s like is that my brother battled with drugs for years, and we did our own family recovery. I don’t know what it feels like to be him or you, but I’ve come to understand that it’s not just as simple as “don’t drink.”

Maybe your friends don’t get because it’s never been explained to them, or because they’ve never really comprehended what it means. You can’t fault them for not knowing, so explain it to them. A tool that helped me get it was the “stick man” presentation, if you can find that. If they continue after that, they are being willfully ignorant and disrespectful, and you’ll have to evaluate your next steps.

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They know. I have tried to explain it several times, and tell them how I feel and that it is not just a phase that I grew out.
Still, she told me after being sober for 2 years, that she „thinks it’s time for me to have a drink again“ that I can „handle it“.
Everyone else that I can have an open conversation about it at least tries to understand or respect my choices, but not them.
They often say questionable things to me.
One of them was extremely depressed a couple of years ago and was in the hospital for a while, and he told me a while back that he thinks I am lazy because I only work part time and don’t do much else, but am always exhausted and too tired to do stuff.

Maybe it is time to move on and leave them behind…


Indeed, that sounds to be quite toxic. Not just because of your addiction, but because they seem to have their perception of it and are not willing to change their view. While it’s not your friends to decide, judge, comment, or criticize. An addiction, also a mental health struggle in general is not even a matter of opinion or debating who’s right/wrong.

It’s not the same of course, but your situation reminded me some comments and attitudes that some people close to me had when I was struggling with anorexia and bulimia - while I explained my experience over and over, also what’s helpful or not. Yet they thought it was a good idea to offer me junk food, to comment the way I was eating or not or even to suggest me diets (:woman_facepalming:). Just because they had their view about eating disorders and what’s supposedly helpful. Also that it was just “a phase” while there’s a vulnerability that sticks with you even on recovery. Basically “you look fine according to my standards, so everything is okay, right?”. Hell, if that could be so simple.

I’m sorry you’re in that situation, Fijji. Honestly, that just sucks. On a positive note, it’s also part of your recovery to make your environment healthier, and that includes your relationships. As you said, some peole are okay to have open conversations without judging, even if it goes against their own opinions or beliefs. It’s definitely those people who will keep being your allies in the long run and won’t drag you back. It sounds that you tried to share your view and experience already, and whatever steps you’ll take, please keep in mind that at this point it’s really about them, not you.

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Thank you. It sucks, but that’s recovery and mental health for ya…

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Not ignoring the difficulty of the situation, by the way. I realized that what I said might sound a little bit like “hey, look at the bright side” while it’s way more complex, and not what I wanted to convey. My apologies if it came out wrong. I know it’s tough, friend. It hurts to face those decisions. Especially if you’ve tried already and if you’ve known them for a long time.

What I also see though, in my own position of outsider, is that you’re in this mindset of considering your health and your voice as important, even in the midst of difficult situations and decisions like this one. I didn’t know you three years ago. I can only imagine what you’ve been through, and that’s certainly not even close to 1% of how it really was for you. But for what it’s worth, I’m also just proud of you taking the time to reflect on this situation and considering your options, including a priority that is shown through your messages: you, your voice, your heart.

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Don’t worry, I get it :slight_smile:

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