Be Proud Of Being A Non-Drinker

Sobriety was once a dirty word to me. Boring do-gooders avoided alcohol. Cool people drank, and drank a lot.

This was probably the biggest challenge for me in terms of deciding to stop drinking. I could not conceive of losing my ‘edge’ and metamorphosing into a quiet dullard who couldn’t let her hair down. I know I’m not alone in thinking these thoughts, and I often read about other people’s experiences with friends and family who are sceptical at best, or scathing and down right rude at worst with regards to that person’s new non-boozy status.

What is it about alcohol that prompts people to share their opinion on whether or not we should be taking part in this national pastime? If I sat down at a dinner with people I wasn’t overly familiar with and announced that I was a vegetarian, I would more than likely receive a lesser inquisition than if I declared my AF lifestyle and opted for a mineral water amongst the truckload of wine at the table. But why do other people care so much about our drinking habits? Could it be that they don’t wish to draw attention to their own alcohol consumption? Generally, I’ve found that the people who have the least to say about me being a non-drinker are the ones who barely drink themselves, the ones who most definitely have not got any issues with alcohol.

Anyway, the point of the above observations is that society frequently has a tendency to be more accepting of heavy drinkers than those of us who opt for an AF life, and this can be a major obstacle in quitting. Peer pressure and the desire to fit in can contribute massively to ‘wobbles’ and, ultimately, to caving in and having a drink. In order to stay true to the path of sobriety, therefore, it is vital that we believe in the alcohol-free way. And I mean, really believe in it – to find it an aspirational way of life, fall in love with it, want it more than anything, and be proud to tell anyone who listens, “No thanks, I do not drink”.

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I did not feel this way about not drinking until at least eighteen months into my sobriety. I was ashamed of my problem, angry because I ‘wasn’t allowed to drink’, lonely and full of regret. But eventually, something clicked inside me and all the monumental benefits of being a non-drinker dawned on me. What the hell was I being so negative about? Where is the need to feel demeaned by a choice that will provide me (and my family and friends too) with a far happier and healthier life? Why be secretive about declining to consume an addictive substance that has consistently made you fat and act foolishly, which has caused you to hurt both yourself and those you love, which has damaged your mental and physical health and routinely put the brakes on all your hopes and dreams for future happiness?

When you think about it, becoming AF is a lifestyle choice that we should be shouting from the rooftops! These days I am supremely proud of being a non-drinker.

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10 thoughts on “Be Proud Of Being A Non-Drinker

  1. says:

    Me too! It’s pretty hard for anyone to question me when I am gushing about how amazing my life is now and how shifty it was when we were drinking every weekend.

    But I also agree it took time. For the first year I was happy to be sober, but not quite a spokesperson for a sober life. Now I am.

    Anne

  2. says:

    I work in a bar and being sober is like having the plague. I also went from being the girl you could find posted at the bar every night to someone who came to work and quietly disappeared after her shift. People started asking questions and I started giving them honest answers. I quit becasue I was sick of being hungover 105% of the time. I quit becasue the 5-10 pounds I had been trying to lose for the last year nuck up to 20-30 pounds due to my liquid diet. I quit becasue all those times we tell ourselves and each other we are “ok to drive” are lies and I got hit by a friggen semi.
    In 100 days I have come to love being sober. I love how present I am in my kiddos life. I love that I am not struggling at work every day.

  3. says:

    Amen! Totally agree, the more we talk about this and think of it as a positive lifestyle choice not a ‘sad consequence’ the more society will wake up! xxxxx

  4. says:

    This is an awesome post and mirrors my experience in many ways. I hope to one day be as brave in my sobriety as you and some of the other commentators.

  5. says:

    It’s an awesome post for sure. And I love the reply from nanc nanc revolution – “I work in a bar and being sober is like having the plague.” When I was drinking, I had no idea why or how people chose to be sober. I could only suppose they were fearless. I guess I was impressed by that, but scared at the same time. I mean how could anyone be so comfortable in their own skin that they didn’t need to hide?

  6. says:

    Me three (four? Five..?) the switch between it being a choice and something I felt forced to do (by myself but still…) was HUGE! So empowering. And now I know that actually, the people that find me boring because I don’t drink (or think I will be) I now know I will most likely find them boring because that’s the only way they know how to have fun!
    I feel like we all know this wonderful secret. Part of a little secret club… but that welcomes new members with open arms! Come to the boring side!! Ha! Come one come all!!

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