The first thing I thought when I read this, is a quote I heard from Actress Helen mirren
“‘At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words ‘f*ck off’ much more frequently,”
Not terribly spiritual, sorry.
But I get where she's coming from.
The type of situation you describe, I internalize too. I try to ignore it, and rise above it, and 9 times out of 10 it just keeps on coming...leaving me with the choice of say something or distance myself. I'd end up distancing myself. But why? Who are they? I didn't get sober so people can keep on putting me down....heck, I can do that well enough myself, without their help.
Now, I'm not suggesting by any means you walk in there and tell a crowd of them to go forth and multiply, but you can certainly do that in your head. As you say, you don't need their affirmation for whether you're an alcoholic or not.
I rarely share about how much I drink, what I drank etc etc...all I see happening when people do that is the battle of the drunkalogues. I share instead on the spiritual malady, how I don't live sober well, the mental obsession, the physical craving, and how I recovered. The only people in a meeting who can't relate to the powerlessness which leads us to the first drink, maybe shouldn't be there.
I don't get it. I really don't. I can't glorify or use my drinking as a tool to undermine someone else....how nuts is that? It's not a competition. This disease is killing people and all that matters to some is 'I drank more than you'. Alcoholism is a way bigger thing than how many units someone drinks.
My mind used to tell me over and over I wasn't a drunk too.....alcoholism is the only disease that will tell you you don't have it. The last thing I needed was someone saying 'hey, I drank more than you, or a different type of drink, so you can't be alcoholic'. That's total b*llocks.
Alcoholism - physical craving - once I start, I find it real hard to moderate or stop. That one or two I'd intended to have ended up in blackout/passout, most of the time. I couldn't control my drinking once I started. Now, when I try to stop, I just don't feel right. I'm irritable, restless, and discontent. I don't cope well with life. Everything gets on top of me. My mind will tell me, over and over take a drink, it'll relax you. It's the only way I know how to feel better. I know I shouldn't, but sooner or later I forget the bad stuff that happened last time I drank, and feeling ok again is the only thing that matters. That's all my mind will tell me...and whether I want to or not, I somehow end up getting drunk again. 'I'll just have one.....' Obsession overrides common sense. At the end, that fight didn't last long at all....and then I can't control my drinking when I start. Merry go round.
Through getting spiritually fit via the steps, that obsession has been removed. If the obsession has been removed, the physical craving never comes in to play. That's the cycle I need to identify with, not drinking competitions, not dui's, not jail time, or bar fights. All of that stuff is just the result of the physical craving, and isn't the actual problem that needs to be addressed.
If you'd like any further reading on what I've roughly outlined above, you can access the big book online, if you don't have a copy. The chapters 'the doctors opinion', 'there is a solution', and more about alcoholism are where you'll find the information about your disease. link below.
Try not to get drawn in to the battle of the drunkalogues. Easier said than done, but resentments are not good for us alkies. If you already know you're alcoholic, what or how much you drank is moot point, anyway. Look at what's underneath it all. Why do we keep going back to it?