You would think that choosing to get sober would make people happy, right? Wrong. Now, the real friends in my life have been totally supportive. But there were a TON of people who personalized my choice. I am sober because I have to be. I don’t care how much you drink. In fact, I’m now to the point where I can go to a bar, pour a glass of wine for someone in my home, and the like. For many months, almost a year, I wasn’t comfortable doing that. When I first got sober I went to outdoor movie night at a friend’s house and as soon as someone popped a beer can I got up, gave everyone hugs and explained that it wasn’t safe for me to be there. I know my limits. I know what I need to do to not take a next drink, and I do it. If you think that all of us sober people have nothing better to do than to watch you eagle eyed to see if you’re having that fourth drink we will so obviously not approve of, you need to check yourself. You’re not that important honey. And if you ARE that important and we are concerned with your drinking, we’ll tell you. I have only said something to one friend about their drinking. I would be a total ass if I drank like I did for well over a decade, then turned my nose up at people who drink like that. For some it’s a phase. For me it turned in to a lifestyle. One where I would do any drug set in front of me, and drink about a liter of Jameson in a sitting. There were fun times, don’t get me wrong. But my life was headed nowhere good. I made the right choice for me, and I’m really happy I did.
I do not sit in a restaurant with friends and espouse my dietary beliefs. I once had a vegetarian friend come to a group dinner at a sushi place, and make faces when the food came out. She actually started making comments so I went up to her and whispered in her ear, “You are going to stand up and excuse yourself and walk out. And you will never be coming to a dinner I attend again.” I have many vegetarian and vegan friends. Those friends eat that way because they feel it is right for them. They do not sit around and judge others who do not eat similarly. I am the same way in that I talk about how I eat here on the blog, and if it is brought up in conversation. And I am not going to lie, I do think the way most Americans eat is disgusting. But I would never sit at a dinner table with someone and be rude because of it. I am lucky in that I can choose the food I have in my own home. The way I eat is the right way for my body. I am not in a place to tell anyone else how to eat.
I do not have Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking site profiles. I used to. I found that I got really addictive about posting things about my life, and commenting on other people’s posts. I also do not like how some people are out in groups, all on their phones, instead of enjoying each other’s company. So instead of complaining about it nonstop, I got rid of it. At first I hated it, but after about a week it was a huge relief. I do not allow cell phones to be brought out at my dinner parties because my rule is that you should enjoy real life, not try to prove to everyone else how awesome your life is, while you are ignoring what is currently happening in real life. That is in my home, where I believe I have a right to have such rules. I would NEVER go out to a bar or restaurant and tell people to put away their phones or tell them what they are doing is wrong. There are plenty of people who find that behavior acceptable, and even enjoyable, and more power to them. The only time I comment is when I’m at a concert and someone is holding their phone up in front of me. I will tap them and say, “I did not pay to see this through your phone. Please move.” What are you going to use that video for anyways? The sound and picture are going to suck. Just enjoy the concert. You don’t need to prove to anyone you were here. You know you were, right? There you go. The choice I made to become less dependent on electronic gadgets had everything to do with my anxiety issues and just the belief that in order to truly be mindful and in the moment, I had to do away with them. But yes, I do get frustrated with other people’s use of them. But you know what? That’s my problem. And I solve it by removing myself from situations where stressful things are occurring. It is not the job of the world to change to my liking. It is my job to change my actions and reactions, to make my life a more peaceful place.
So many problems in our lives occur from everyone thinking that their way is the right way. That the way they do things is the only proper way to do them. Just imagine if we lived in a world where everyone realized, “This is the right way for me to do this. It does not mean that anyone else needs to do it this way.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m still asshole Melanie deep down inside. I find my mind going to, “Why can’t they just do it THIS way? That’s so much better!” It happens. But really I know when it comes down to it, my way is not the right way. It is just the way in which I do things that makes sense to me.