Update – Too smart, too young, and too pretty to be an alcoholic

Last week I wrote about a situation that happened at work that had me questioning how to handle the ignorance of my supervisor about alcoholism and recovery.  I wanted to give you, my fellow bloggers and friends, an update about the situation and let you know what I have decided to do.  But first, I just want to thank everyone that weighed in on the situation.  This is actually the first time in almost a year of writing this blog, that I have specifically asked for help with an issue that I was having, and I am awed and grateful at the outpouring of feedback and support that I have received.  Thank you all for your words of advice and encouragement.

After being told that when I do a presentation about alcoholism for Alcohol Awareness Month, I should hide my own recovery, I didn’t know what to do.  As I read everyone’s comments in response to my post, I felt that my position – that not talking about my own recovery would invalidate the whole purpose of the talk – was the right one.  The purpose of Alcohol Awareness Month is to increase awareness (duh) and to decrease the stigma that is associated with the label of “alcoholic.”  If I don’t speak about my own recovery, I will be doing a disservice to those that are listening.  That said, I do not want to directly disobey what my supervisor says.  I do need a job.

What I have decided to do is this:  I am going to make the main point of my presentation the stigma that is associated with alcoholism.  I am going to speak directly to the stereotypes and prejudices that people have about alcoholics and people in recovery.  I will work in my own recovery in the presentation, but I will not say the words, “I am an alcoholic.”  Hopefully, that will be enough to satisfy my supervisor, and I will not suffer any negative consequences.  And hopefully, she will have open ears to hear what I am saying about the stigma related to the disease of addiction.

I am happy to say that I have he support of the campus director, who is my supervisor’s boss.  I had a discussion with him about my conversation with my supervisor and while he told me that he hopes that I do not take her comments personally, he completely supported me in what I want to get across in my presentation.  He understands alcoholism and recovery.  Thank God for that.

The presentation is next week, I will let you all know how it goes.  Thank you all again, for your advice and encouragement.

21 thoughts on “Update – Too smart, too young, and too pretty to be an alcoholic

  1. Hi jamilynaz, I missed reading about this the first time and I must say I am horrified you have been subjected to such discrimination. Practically fecking medieval attitude. You are so brave and strong to be dealing with this in such a classy way. I have conversations with my medium boss all the time about alcohol (she brings it up, clearly has a problem) as she is fascinated that ANYONE could stay off the sauce for any length of time. I just feel blessed I no longer have an addiction to alcohol. We must continue to be proud, write it out, tell the world. Thank you for sharing this important point in your recovery xxx

    1. Thank you! I, too, feel blessed to not be addicted to alcohol. It’s a miracle, for sure! and I agree, as those who are finding ways to stay sober, we do need to continue to spread the word. 🙂

  2. Wow, that sounds like a great solution. Good for sticking to your awareness goals. This is something I have struggled with in relation to bipolar disorder. I finally ended up making my blog anonymous because there are people in my life that still insist I don’t have it (because I am too smart and pretty, right?) and then I’m right back to the first step: acceptance. So I’m anonymous for now.

    1. You know, I didn’t start out shouting from the rooftops that I was an alcoholic. It’s taken a lot of time for me to be in a place where I feel good about doing it. One thing that I always remember though, is that I was ashamed of myself when I was actively drinking, I’m not ashamed of myself for being in recovery, and I won’t allow anyone to take me back to that shame. You’ll do it in whatever amount of time is right for you.
      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  3. I love the solution. It is true to you, meaningful to the audience and within the safe confounds of retaining you job. Amazing what sober thinking leads us to! Best of luck and definitely let us know how it goes. keep a transcript too, so when you have your speaking tour, you don’t have to start from scratch! :))

  4. I’m so glad you went to the supervisor! He’s been “in” on things for awhile, and at least he is open-minded and understanding!! I’m proud of you for finding your way through this, Jami. You’ll do awesome!! ❤ you.

    1. Teddi,
      Yes, he has been one of my biggest supporters. I am very lucky. I guess there’s just a part of me that hopes that I can “educate” my supervisor. We’ll see what happens. I’ll let you know.

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