Pinings: Trying to get better
by Sherry Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
I ran into a gal at a 12-step meeting on Friday night. She was someone familiar to me, but I couldn’t figure out just where I knew her from. As we stood there with a couple of other people, she reminded me that we worked together at a local restaurant — over 15 years ago. Then she said something to the effect that I was dating the manager, wasn’t I? She remembered his name, etc. I have to tell you, I barely remember this guy. It was such a long time ago … and I was drinking a lot at the time and doing drugs. I felt embarrassed … to a point. Later, I just felt angry. Why did she need to bring up something like that from so long ago? And honestly, I didn’t even remember her name.
This kind of stuff has happened to me before; someone brings up a shameful part of my life in conversation, completely unprompted.
What do I say in the face of this stuff?
Trying to get better
I wish I knew the perfect retort for you. I, too, am in recovery. There are things in my past that are difficult to reflect on. And when someone doesn’t understand that you’ve grown and changed, it feels like the opening of an old wound.
You have many options. You can just smile and change the topic. You can acknowledge your indiscretion and add that you aren’t that same person. Or you can just smile and say “Wow. That was a long time ago, huh?” And move on.
Some people have little tact. Others have mean spirits. Some people are grasping for a topic of conversation and grab anything that comes to mind.
Hold your head high. This kind of thing isn’t a reflection on who you are, but who they are.
Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at email@example.com