I am very proud of myself. On Wednesday night, I said no to my roommate’s mother (who also lives with us). She asked me to buy her a small bottle of wine, and I shook my head ‘no’ and said “sorry” in that tone of voice that means “this-is-kind-of-ironic-this-saying-sorry-because-I’m-really-not”. I’m proud of this fact for two reasons:
1) I said NO
2) I refused to be an enabler again.
For the first 18 years of my life, unknowingly or not, I was an accomplice to my father’s drinking habit. He was, is, an alcoholic, and I prided myself on finding as many empty wine bottles as I could around the house, and putting them (gently) into the recycle bin on the side of our house. I made a game out of it. And I knew, obviously, that there was something shameful about the empty glass bottles because I made sure to carefully place them into the bin so that they wouldn’t clank when I knew our neighbors were home. I was 15.
I have so many issues with alcohol and those that abuse it, and when my older roommate asked me to grab her a small bottle at the store because I was going out, I put my foot down. For once in my life. I canNOT be a part of something that is so screwed up. Her daughter hurts and gets mad every time she drinks too much. (The drinking roommate is 50 and 110 lbs…a margarita will impair her.) I feel like I’m in a warzone and don’t want to get caught, either by the drinker and how she behaves (she’s an emotional drunk, so she’ll wail, like, LITERALLY, wailing, and whine, and complain, and get mad that things aren’t going her way), or by my friend, her daughter, because she’ll come to me to escape and I feel sorry for her, but I can’t help her.
I refused to enable that to happen on Wednesday night, so I said no. And I’m proud of it. The second reason (and most important of the two) I’m patting myself on the back is for the fact that I. Said. No. I didn’t bend to someone else’s wishes because I knew it’d be easier and less uncomfortable doing what they wanted. There was an awkward silence afterward, and I kinda just waved bye and left, but I stuck up for myself! I decided in my mind that I didn’t want to do something and I DIDN’T.
No one died, no one got hurt, no one screamed or burst into flames. The world continued turning, and I was left to fight off an residual guilt that lingered inside of me over denying someone’s request. I was raised to be a people pleaser, so when I choose to not do something for someone…that goes against everything inside of me, my very being. But I’ve had to come to realize that saying yes to every request isn’t healthy, for me or for the other person sometimes. Like the other night.