Believing In Yourself As A Person Who Doesn’t Drink

As the sober months have turned into sober years, I’ve become noticeably more comfortable with not drinking. In the early days I did feel self-conscious; I worried that people would feel sorry for me, or simply not want to hang out with me anymore because I was boring. One or two acquaintances attempted to express their heartfelt best wishes and asked (with head cocked to one side in a concerned fashion) ‘How are you feeling now?’ with their hand sympathetically touching my arm.

I must say that more than anything this attitude confused me. We live in a society in which drunkenness is rampant, one in which people (and definitely the ones who asked me how I was feeling), who are clearly alcohol dependent, will drink far more than is good for them on a nightly basis, and yet STILL find it necessary to feel sorry for those who quit drinking the stuff. My response, incidentally, to those professing their sympathies towards me over the fact that I’d quit drinking, was to look befuddled and say ‘I’m absolutely fine thanks – why?’

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What sobriety has taught me is that letting go of old ways does not mean having to alter completely the person you are. One of the most terrifying things I have ever done in life is teeter on the brink of becoming a non-drinker, as I contemplated a world I believed would never be fun again, a place in which I could never let my hair down and an existence which, quite simply, looked bleak right up to the horizon.

But my alcohol-free life has turned out to be nothing like this, not boring at all. It’s just that all the things I failed to notice when I drank (because I was either too hungover or preoccupied with planning my next drink, or simply because I was drunk) now leap out at me. The world switched to Technicolor when I put down the bottle, meaning that all the things I imagined to be mundane when I drank have since become beautiful, vivid, notable and fascinating.

People still often ask me, ‘But don’t you miss drinking?’ And my answer is always this: ‘Alcohol to me isn’t like it is to you. You can enjoy a couple of drinks and happily stop, go home and get to bed. I can’t do that. For me, a couple of drinks always meant a session, lots of drinks, so much booze that I would be sick, or suffer a blackout or fall unconscious. Alcohol made me hate myself, and it made me want to hide away in my bedroom, unnoticed by the world.

But without alcohol I can relax, and feel happy, well balanced and valid. Without alcohol, I can be myself. And so no, I don’t miss drinking at all.’

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16 thoughts on “Believing In Yourself As A Person Who Doesn’t Drink

  1. Thank you for the read! It is true that the clean/sober life is anything but boring…we have been given purpose and direction in our lives. Only by the grace of God have we found what it means to truly be set free 😀

  2. Ahh love this. I’m going January sober which probably sounds like nothing but I haven’t gone a full month since I was…17? I’m only 23 so it’s SO awkward to not drink because it’s what everybody does during any social event. But I just hate hate hate the feeling the next day! Anyways, enough about me, GOOD FOR YOU!

    • fortherdreamers93 says:

      Hey Stephen I think that is awesome baby steps still move you forward I have had times where I thought a week without
      t my comfort zone would drive me insane but hey, I made it 🙂

  3. Great post! Baffling that we chose the other way for so long. I sometimes wonder if I had to experience it so that I would appreciate life the way I do now. As for the people that feel sorry for us. I often watch them in silence pulling all the drinking tricks I used to and really, I feel sorry for them. They know it too but they have to find their own way out in their own time xxx

  4. I was blessed by never being a ‘moderate’ drinker, because it was that very circumstance that opened my eyes to the sad reality of a world ruled by the need of becoming stupefying. Thanks to you all for the courage of daring to be yourselves and happy xmas!

  5. Patti says:

    Oh I do love this one. People feeling sorry for me was something I always hated about not drinking anymore.
    This will be my 5th sober Christmas, and although I do have to work tomorrow, I’ll be enjoying the family gathering tonight. Those first few years are harder, but now I can’t imagine myself as a drinker anymore! That’s the beauty of it. Merry Christmas Lucy. 🙂

  6. More than two years sober here. It’s hard sometimes, my husband still keeps wine around the house. Slipped up and had two drinks on two separate occaisions over the past two years. Surprised myself by being totally unimpressed with the effects, urge is gradually disappearing, and I’m determined to stick with it. I feel so much healthier, look so much younger, have way more energy than when I was drinking. And no more hangovers or “what did I do?” mornings!

  7. Love reading all the stories and posts. Don’t feel as alone as I thought I was. Have tried quitting for years, never was successful. My husband enjoys alcohol but is able to handle it, whereas I totally can’t. Am trying to think of ways to enjoy NewYears Eve at home with a few friends over without getting sloshed.

  8. fortherdreamers93 says:

    Your stories are very inspiring. We all need motivation and im finding just that in everything you are sharing! Im new to the blogging environment and I would love for you to read and follow in on some of my stuff 🙂 forthedreamerswhodream.wordpress.com

  9. I loved the way you describe why you do not miss alcohol. I couldn’t have put how I feel about alcohol better myself. I can’t just have a few drinks and go home, I always end up drinking to the point I have hours of blackouts, totally embarrass myself, and feel so ill the next day I literally can’t leave my bed. I hate myself so much and feel as ashamed that i want to to hide in my room and never leave! It dawned on me last week just how much I am so over feeling like that. My sober journey starts here, bring it on!

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