Coming out

I have written before about the support group I am setting up for women choosing to go sober. I know from blogging and sober sites that there are lots of women out there on this sober journey but I don’t know who they are in real life. I have felt very lonely at times, often to the point of despair. So I am trying to reach out.

I contacted a local community paper which covers the area where I live and told them about the last year and how I am now at the point where I want to give back and hopefully help others. I asked them if this was something they would be interested in covering. They came back very quickly and I had a chat with a lovely lady who was keen to run a piece but, and I knew this was coming, they would need a photograph.

I feel that I am ready to “come out” about my drinking problem, my alcoholism. Or very nearly ready. I am open about having given up drinking and I think some people must have realised that there is a bit more to it than just choosing not to drink for health reasons or because I just don’t enjoy it. At the same time,I think a lot of people would be very surprised if they actually heard me describe myself as an alcoholic. But really, although it’s still pretty big news for me, I don’t think other people would find it all that exciting – there are plenty more juicy things  to gossip  than “Did you know Tori had a drinking problem ?”

So the issue is what to do about my employer. I am worried that someone at work would see the piece, with my photo and the bosses would find out. I am ok with telling them but I am not sure they are ready to hear.  My work involves investigating scenarios and reaching decisions about the implications of what happened. I know that my drinking did not affect my decision making or the way I conducted investigations. However, someone could challenge that and if they did a whole can of worms would be opened up. I don’t know if I could get through that process.

So I am not sure what to do. So, wonderful wise people,  please let me have your take on the situation and help me to decide which way to jump. Xxx

15 thoughts on “Coming out

  1. Hmm. I think, however much you want to give back and help others. If there is any chance it might adversely affect your employment. Then no. Just no. Do this anonymously, if you feel you have to do it. Others do . I wouldn’t risk your Job, really.

  2. I wouldn’t do it personally. Things change and however you feel now this is really early days….you don’t want to regret a decision a few years down the line. There is really no need to “come out” as such and whilst I am not advocating lying to Yourself I think there are some things that just don’t need to be shared to the world and this is one of them. If your job was not going to be under question I might have a different view but if there is the slightest hint that people’s complete misunderstanding of your situation may affect you, just park it as you are gaining nothing.

  3. Think long and hard. Many people choose to “come out” in an encouraging, compassionate environment, such as family and friends, meetings, or the sober online community. Only later do they extend this to a wider, possibility harsher and more judgemental audience.

    Is a photograph identifying you essential to the success of your group, or could the photographer take one in which your face is not clearly visible?

    This is a very brave and courageous offer of service. Ensure you maintain your boundaries, an important element of protecting your sobriety.

    Trish xx

    1. Thank you Trish. You are so right. The more I think about it the more I am clear that this is not the time or place for me. Xxx

  4. Agree w/ Sarah, no photo. Do they really “need” a photograph? You’re doing a wonderful thing by giving back, but as you said, it will open a can of worms!

    1. You are right Lori. What I need to remember is they are journalists and the story, especially some of the gory horrible details is what they really want. Although they might say well done etc it’s the story rather than me they are interested in. Is hat really harsh of me ?

  5. Rather than a pic of yourself could you have a cartoon pic of a profile of e.g ‘the middle class woman who struggles with booze’? more about challenging stereotypes . I did some research once and it showed educated, middle class perfectionists as one group not recognised within ‘alcoholics’. Don’t use your own pic if there are potential
    Ramifications. X

    1. I don’t think they need a photo either – they just want one because it will make a better read. Loads of people I know see that publication and the more I think about it the more certain I am that I don’t want a picture. I have been thinking about the impact it could have on my girls if all their friends knew so it is going to be a no. Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate it xx

  6. I didn’t come out until I was retired.
    And I did it slowly. Friends, family, safe places.
    I wouldn’t either, but that’s me.
    Your work is important, and it could cost the company a lot of money.

  7. What happened, Tori? Did you do the article without the photo, or decide on different lower key publicity? I know you’ve gone ahead with actually setting up the group (brava!)

  8. Tori, I came to you through SM – I wander the blogs in a sort of aimless way but I am clear on a few things – don’t fucking let the cat out of the bag. I work in a difficult environment where drink is part of the culture but being alcohol dependant would mean losing my job (don’t worry, I’m not a 777 pilot or a surgeon). I have been sober for something over a year now and I still lie through my teeth to colleagues so how can I put this NO, NO, NO. Just say its a health thing or juicing or wanting to support the AF drinks industry. Anyway, just my view – great blog by the way. You need to meet some of my friends from SM’s world, Red, TWTIK, Ginge all great people.


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