Not That Bad

“I’m not sure I really need to quit, I’m not that bad. I can’t stop drinking but I’m not that bad.”

I hear it all the time. I used to say the same about myself. 

Today I got a new splint for my hand. This is the third splint in as many weeks, ordered by the specialist after multiple referrals and appointments. The ligaments are torn and I’ll have to wear this custom, hard-shell cast-like splint to bed, in the shower, 24/7   for at least another month. Longer than the cast on my broken leg!

Most people would agree that Skiiers Thumb is *not as bad* as a broken leg, yet the treatment for both is immobilization and protection. 

I think we can say the same for addiction. You might not bad as bad as someone else, but never mind that. 

Just do what you need to do to get better. 


About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on January 19, 2017, in Early Recovery, Insights and Lessons and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Tara From California

    What a great blog. It’s hard to find other “anticlimactic alcoholics”. That’s what I call people like me who know they drink too much, know they have trouble lessening or quitting, but haven’t had any negative consequences (yet) as a result of alcohol. I’m giving sobriety a go at the moment. I’m ashamed at the amount of wine I drink but I’m so functional than no one knows and I’m able to lie to myself. Time to stop hiding from the truth.


  2. It’s such a constant struggle for me to remember it was that bad. About once a year, I think I am overdramatazing the past. It’s such a more difficult commitment for to remember that I need to be sober.


  3. Day 30 for me tomorrow!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading that quote tonight…. we’ll, its surreal to see my private thoughts in print like that. And its exactly what I needed. Last night I walked into a women’s AA meeting for the first time. I am a very high functioning person but miserable from years of nearly nightly drinking. My problem isn’t so much volume but rather an obsession with alcohol and guilt over my inability to string together slcohol free nights even though the handful I’ve had make me SO much happier. Because my consequences have been mostly internal it’s easy to minimize them and sometimes hard to stay honest. But last week everything changed. One week ago tonight, my father’s life ended tragically due to a lifetime of drinking. I decided that the one thing that I could do to make sense of this pain, is to free myself of the anxiety and misery of continuing and failing to moderate. It’s time to do this for me and for my children. Thank you for the little reminder to be on guard for those pesky “I wasn’t so bad” thoughts that will certainly try to undermine me.


  5. Great comments here, Jean!
    All I know is, my life is now better than when I was drinking.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “I’m not that bad”, followed by “It’s just because I’m tired/ I didn’t eat properly today” excuses. Oh boy.. so thankful to have 90 days in on this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Keep looking for other forms of support.
    You don’t have to do this alone. There are so many paths to recovery, but they all require support.
    Plus, there are some amazing sober women out there!
    Start a blog!


    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your reply and support Anne. I appreciate it and I will keep looking! Just commenting here and interacting a little with you is a big,positive step for me. I’ll keep reaching out. It feels good. Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear Jean,
    I feel nervous as I type this because I rarely comment or post online, but I really wanted to say thank you. Your blog has been such a blessing to me. I’ve kind of danced around my drinking problem for the past 5 years, visiting your blog on occasion, then returning to my old habits. I’d always find a way to convince myself I wasn’t that bad.” But, it was bad and after the holidays, I knew I needed to quit drinking. I haven’t had a glass of wine (or any alcohol) in 14 days. It hasn’t been pretty, but I’m getting through it, thanks to your blog, Bubble Hour podcasts, books, tons of tea and hot chocolate, yoga, walking, keeping my days quiet and my to-do list small. I’ve only told my husband so far, and have been relying on online resources for support. Your blog, specifically, has been my “go-to”. So, thank you. I would have never made it 14 days without the stories, advice, and encouragement I’ve found here.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello, sober warrior. Glad to be sharing this journey together. Honoured my words have helped. 14 days is wonderful- keep going. Celebrate milestones, including 2 weeks! Definitely worth an ice cream or a special purchase or candles at dinner. You’re not alone. Keep reaching out for connections. Interacting with others who “get it” will give you extra strength. Thanks for posting. You made my day 🙂


      • You’re welcome, Jean. I appreciate you taking the time to reply. My first online connection with a person in recovery! I was considering attending a meeting this week, but to be honest, I’m scared. I think I’m going to dig deeper into the online support groups and get more comfortable posting/commenting there before I physically attend a meeting. Baby steps!! So glad to know I’m not alone. Thank you again 🙂


        • Meetings are very welcoming and accepting places to be. I know it’s scary to go but the warm reception you will find from others who appreciate what an achievement it is to go two weeks with booze will make it worth the effort. I encourage you to try it out. And enjoy the many resources online. There are even online meetings for aa and smart recovery. You’re doing great. Have a restful Sunday!


  9. I don’t think we have to lose everything before we decide to get better…healing can begin whenever we are ready and willing. Great post Jean.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Just saw your share on your mishaps just thought I add to others who have already said wishing you speedy recovery and that with each day you awake thinking I’m happy
    I’m am on a week with no booze nothing in light of 17 years but I do agree with your words of bad compared to whom one needs to think of one self and not next or neighbor
    Thank you for your continued interesting blog posts.


  11. bigtreelittleleaf

    Ha well we are all “not that bad” compared to someone else. But if you’re drinking when you don’t want to be, well, then you’re not that good, either, are you? We’re conditioned to believe that alcohol is entertainment, and without alcohol we will live boring lives. As soon as we can see that the majority of people wish they could be less of a slave to alcohol, we realize that alcohol is not entertainment. Nothing fun about getting drunk, possibly embarrassing yourself, forgetting the evening, waking up hungover, neglecting the things and people that are important, and oh, yeah, killing yourself slowly and making yourself look worn out and haggard.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I was one of those “high bottom ” alcoholics. Never had a DUI, never lost any jobs, still had a marriage to a wonderful man. But miserable inside, emotionally exhausted, with a complete lack of coping skills. Still having all “the stuff” made it really tempting to keep on with my downward progression. How could I stop drinking?! I couldn’t imagine a life without alcohol! But having been raised by an alcoholic I knew what it looked like. Knew where I was headed.

    When I finally did come into the 12-step rooms I heard something I needed to hear: your bottom is when you stop digging.
    To all you other high- bottom alcoholics out there, Please don’t wait till you’ve lost everything and destroyed the love surrounding you.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Telling myself “I’m not that bad” kept me in a suffering loop that was just too much to handle, I couldn’t keep lying to myself. I WAS that bad, and I needed to help myself break free from the prison I had built for myself. I agree with you we need to do whatever it takes to get better. If it means stumbling and getting back up, dusting yourself and keep trying (sounds cliché but I had been helping me tons) then that’s what it takes. Had I not been ready to finally admit to myself “you ARE that bad” I wouldn’t be here, on day 45. I am so grateful I finally did.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. The moment we begin to compare how “good” or “bad” with someone else, we lose. I remember spending at least days, probably months and if I’m honest, maybe even years comparing my “symptoms” to others. Sometimes rather than comparing, we need to shift the focus to we know we have a problem and deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Normal people do not question or justify their drinking…….

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Wow. How timely! I often think I’m
    Not that bad. But now at meetings I listen for the PROGRESSION and unmanageability more so than the losses (DWI, job loss). Your post puts things in a little clearer perspective. Heal fast and well!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. feeling worse and worse and worse bllllaaahhhh by every day…don’t drink since October 21st 2014 when car hit me=I was on my bike…sure they said I was drunk,can’t comment cos was 5 days in commaatteeee,next 12 days in hospital and forgot over 2 months of my life,and here I’m…hate more and more the day I stopped drink,lost my jobs,can’t sleep,can’t eat,can’t think cann”tttttt bllaahhhssss…so some another ideas???will tell”u’ll feel better and better and better”…nice to hear it,except doesn’t help…really wish when car hit me to die…this is not life anymore…


    • Oh you poor thing, I your pain is palpable. It’s hard to get excited about the joys of sobriety when you’re mired in so much physical and emotional pain. I encourage you to stay away from alcohol to speed your healing, and reach out for professional help to address all this hurt inside and out. You don’t have to do this alone but you will need to advocate a bit for yourself to get the help you need. Even if that means enlisting a friend or family member to make calls and find help. Does this sound possible? My heart goes out to you. Life doesn’t have to be this way. You deserve better. Your life matters.

      Liked by 1 person

    • To you hit by car. You have sustained a traumatic brain injury on top of alcoholism. Despair , rage , hopelessness are all part. You need cognitive rehab for brain trauma and it can take a long time to recover. Try to listen to the wisdom here and stop the alcohol poison which also leads to brain injury. And it will get better. Love yourself .

      Liked by 1 person

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