The other evening, I had just sat down to a nice dinner with a newly acquainted colleague at a posh restaurant overlooking all of Los Angeles. As I began to gaze over the menu, I suddenly heard the question slip from his lips.
“Sooo, what would you like to drink?” I raised my head, trying to fight back any signs of annoyance. Surely, this guy must have read my book. Surely, he must know that I’m sober. But no, there he was, staring and smiling, blissfully unaware and nudging the wine list in my direction.
“Oh,” I forced a laugh. “I guess you don’t know my story. I’m a recovering alcoholic. I don’t drink.” His face contorted into a confused pretzel. “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” I paused, unsure I had heard him correctly. “Wait…what do you mean, you don’t understand?”
“Well, can’t you have…just a glass?” I could feel my blood pressure rising. Nikki, calm down. Remember, not everyone is educated about alcoholism, I thought. I smiled politely. “No, I can’t. I’m an alcoholic. I can’t have a glass. A glass is a kiss of death. In fact, one sip can send me over the edge. That’s what an alcoholic is…”
But instead of stopping right there, he kept pushing for me to have a drink, convinced that this was “just the one time” that could be the exception to the rule. I spent an absurd amount of time explaining to him that for addicts, there is no room for leniency, as we don’t have the ability to measure and control the substances that go into our bodies.
When Saying No Means Staying Alive to an Alcoholic
As a note to everyone out there, when I say no, I mean no. Please, don’t push me to have a drink. It’s not only incredibly disrespectful, but it’s triggering and can cause me to slip. Although I’ve been sober for five years, I give a large part of the credit to the fact that I surround myself with people, places and things that enable my healthy choices.
If I’m with you, it’s because I’m trusting you to be one of them, so please, don’t break that trust. Remember, to an addict, one sip can mean the difference between life and death. I know there are a million other topics to choose from at the dinner table than alcohol. Be my friend; help me stay sober and alive.
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About the Author: Nikki DuBose is a former model turned author, advocate, and ambassador. Her debut memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, details her recovery from trauma, severe mental illnesses and the dark side of the modeling industry. Nikki has been featured on television shows and networks such as The Doctors, The TD Jakes Show, CBS Los Angeles, and the Oprah Winfrey Network, and profiled in publications such as People, LA Times, Vogue UK, Esquire, India Times, and Inquisitr. To find out more about Nikki, visit http://nikkidubose.com/.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 19, 2017.
Published on AddictionHope.com