The other day someone very close to me accused me of being a “Stepford wife.” Okay, first, lets back up. From a physical standpoint, if you knew me and saw me on a day-to-day basis, you would know that my “uniform” usually consists of workout pants (regardless if I make it to the gym or not), sweatshirt, tennis shoes, baseball hat and no makeup. If I happen to make it to the gym, I then take a shower and put on my sweats and, again, no makeup. It’s a very rare day that I actually do my hair, put on “real” clothes and do my makeup. You get the picture.
Okay, getting back to the accusation. I’m paraphrasing, but basically this person thinks because I always answer his question of “How are you?” by responding that things are great or really good, there must be something wrong with me. Because, really, how can someone be THAT good?
For privacy reasons I will not elaborate, but I will say that this person has a serious drinking problem. I would go as far to say he’s an alcoholic, but I will let him be the judge of that. He knows about my sobriety, but has done very little to acknowledge it or even ask about it, despite our closeness.
While his accusation was an attempt on his part to get a reaction out of me, I was able to respond with kindness, truth and honesty thanks to the tools I have learned through recovery. I told him that I was truly happy and doing well. I wasn’t just saying I was good, I was really THAT good and a big part of it was a direct result of my stopping drinking. I said, make no mistake, I had to go through a lot of sh*t to get to this point, but I made it and I’m beyond grateful.
I wasn’t angry at him because I understood. See, when I was drinking I couldn’t stand being around people who were happy – really, truly happy. I wasn’t happy, in fact I was downright miserable, so why should others be happy? I was always thinking about the “what ifs.” What if I had that, what if I did that, what if things were this way, what if that didn’t happen – the list goes on. I put on a good “face” to people and always said things were “good” when they would ask how I was, but, really, I rarely felt truly happy.
Now, when someone asks how I’m doing I’m honest. I make it a point to be honest, even if it’s not what they want to hear. Most of the time, I’m doing really good. Despite the ups and downs, I’m happy and content with my reality. If I’m not doing great, I’ll say so. The other day at a meeting I asked a friend how they were doing and she said “good” and then went on to ask how I was. I said I was really tired and didn’t really feel like being there but “here I am.” She then surprised me and said that she wasn’t really that good, in fact, she wasn’t feeling good and might leave early. She said, “But most people who ask you how you’re doing, don’t really want to know the answer.”
Well, the truth is, today I’m doing really good. And, believe me, I have many more “good” days now than I ever had when I was drinking. And, the best part is that I can be truly happy for others who are happy instead of resentful and jealous.
“Stepford wife” or not, I’ll take this sober life a thousand times over my previous life.