How do you keep from judging and worrying about people that aren’t sober and don’t ever plan to be?
Oh, man. This is a doozy of a question.
The short answer: I don’t. I do worry and judge as I’m only human. When I see friends that drink like I used to drink (helplessly and without restraint), of course I’m concerned. At the same time, I know that the mere fact that I notice is more indicative of my own issue with alcohol. With a few exceptions, people that don’t struggle with drinking don’t tend to notice when others are struggling. People that do or did struggle, do notice. It’s a mirror.
This is definitely a controversial topic and these opinions are my own.
At the end of the day, I quit drinking on my own watch. I said, The buck stops here. The most I can do is be supportive if aforementioned person is aware of their problem and wants to talk about it or address it somehow. I don’t ever want to be the one to suggest it, bring it up, or force the idea. In my drinking days, I would have been deeply offended if someone had done this with me. I would have felt wounded, sensitive, attacked, and annoyed. In the haze of ethanol, you’re not thinking clearly enough to know that another person has your best interest at heart. It does come across as judgment and superiority. You can’t help someone that won’t first help him or herself. (Adjust your own oxygen mask first, then choose your favorite child.) That said, I don’t spend much, if any, time with the few people that fit this description anymore. They stopped seeking me out because I’m no longer a drinking buddy and often turned down invitations from me to do other things. When you remove the common denominator of drinking from any given scenario, you swiftly find out if the relationship was real or not.