Questions from a Normie


By Chris Alvarez

Us addicts and alcoholics like to call people who don’t suffer from the disease of addiction “normies” or “normal” people.  Recently I began to think that these normies might have questions about what it’s like to be an addict/alcoholic.  So I began asking some of my “normie” friends if they had any questions.

Here’s the first in a series of questions they had for me:


What bothers me most about not being able to drink?

There are little things that bother me about not being able to drink.  I miss the taste of a cold beer on a hot day.  I miss going to bars with friends and bonding over a couple drinks.  But mostly I’m not really that bothered that I can’t drink.  However this being said, what does bother me, and it bothers me a lot, is when I am looked at like a leper, or when people in my family (close relatives) make up lies about me or don’t feel comfortable telling their friends that I am an alcoholic. They do things like give me looks when I am about to be open and honest.  For example someone asks me why I moved to LA and I am about to answer, “It’s because I went into treatment.” Then I get cut off before I can answer and someone else replies for me, “he moved there for work.”  It’s the stigma of addiction that really bothers me, the shame that family members feel.

Being an alcoholic has taught me how to live life and see the world differently.  The struggles I have been through have made me a stronger, wiser and a more caring person, and that is something I am proud of.


Filed under 12-Steps, addiction, Alcoholics Anonymous, Education

8 responses to “Questions from a Normie

  1. ron goldberg

    A great idea for an ongoing column and exchange…

  2. Marc Polish

    How do you guys make money

  3. lexy

    LOVE THIS! I tottalllllyyy can relate… My story is that I moved to Culver City to live with “friends.” Little do they know I live with about 130 of them 😛 One thing that I think bothers me, is the idea of not being able to drink at my wedding but I don’t really care anymore.

  4. Susan

    May I suggest you urge your loved ones to go to Al-Anon? I’ve been a grateful member for 7.5 years and it has changed my life. It has also removed any sense of shame that I had due to my “qualifier’s” addiction and the shame I had felt as her mother. Al-Anon can be as life altering as AA.

  5. gil alvarez

    The only thing that really matters is what you think of yourself. Your introspection is encouraging. Well done.

  6. Pingback: Questions from a Normie | Beit T'Shuvah

  7. Pingback: Questions From A Normie #3 | Beit T'Shuvah

  8. Pingback: Dealing with Grief in Recovery | Beit T'Shuvah

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