I am a person in long-term recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, myself. I’ve been clean for over six years. I do the 12-step thing, and there is an expression in the rooms which I feel is appropriate in this discussion:
“We are not responsible for our disease, but we are responsible for our recovery”
While I agree with you that the lack of nonalcoholic options can be a drag at conferences and networking events, I would caution that making our disease the concern of others abdicates the responsibility we have as persons in recovery. People like to party, developers and everybody else, when in groups. It is no more right for us to directly or indirectly shame them for drinking then it is for us to be ostracized by lack of nonalcoholic beverages.
I, for one, would like to be able to identify those “in the club“ at said conferences, kind of like yellow balloons at Phish shows denotes the Phellowship (sober Phish fans). I’d get a whole lot more out of that than 4 kinds of seltzer.
I hope this doesn’t come off as critical, because on the whole I agree with you. I simply brought it up because I have a lot of sympathy for conference/event organizers that already have to consider so many separate populations when hosting an event. Why add another special interest group to the list when we can be responsible for ourselves?
Six years is pretty cool! Good job!
I've never been into the 12 steps thing, but if it works for you, then work it!
I agree that making it the concern of others is not good, but as time goes on I feel it gets easier to stay recovered. Most people don't even think about alcoholism or people who don't drink at events. I was mostly hoping to make people aware of it and think about it, but also things they could do to help.
Just like when I was a vegetarian, I wouldn't expect people to make a vegetarian option for me at a party or something(although I always appreciated it), I won't expect 4 varieties of seltzer, nor artisanal, small batch, free range soda made from un-distilled icebergs, unrefined sugar, and hand bottled by virgins. :P But its always a nice gesture, but most importantly I think is to just be sure that there's no pressure to drink.
As you conquer more and more times where you didn't drink its easier to be responsible for yourself, but if someone can make it easier, its always nice. IDK, I guess I agree, at the end of the day, its up to the individual, but some help is always remembered? I always remember the events that have food I like or clean facilities.
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