Monday, November 14, 2011

How to talk about it...

I think I'm going to have to work on getting the tone right when I talk about my removing alcohol from my life.

I don't want to come across as anti-alcohol because in many ways I feel the opposite.  Like - 'don't let the fun stop just coz I'm not drinking!' (that feeling comes mixed with a bit of me desperately trying to prove that I am still fun without the booze).

I also don't want to come across holier-than-thou. Like 'you're all dysfunctional drinkers coz I know now that drinking heavily is all about suppressing emotion and how can you really feel when you're pouring wine down your throat constantly, by the way how is that drink there treating you?' Yeah, that's not a good look.

And I want to explain to people that I wasn't exactly vomiting and falling over every night so to that end I'm developing some quick responses to explain what led to my sober lifestyle.  'It was just wine but it was lots of it' and 'Only ever after 5pm but most nights' and 'it wasn't crazy binges just steady heavy drinking' and 'I just got sick of being a boozer' and 'I always thought I'd give it up one day and now I have!'

Did a lot of talking about my new found sobriety on Saturday night at my 40th birthday party (a joint party with my brother-in-law who also just turned 40).  Lots of lovely old friends from out of town came along plus some family members (step-brothers) who I haven't seen lately.  I wasn't sure how I was going to approach the whole alcohol thing - the party was in a bar and started at 8pm so it was bound to be a boozy affair. 

I was nervous before-hand, not because I thought I would drink but just because .. well .. um .. just because .. I suppose just because I was going to do the party sober and I had no idea how that would go.

Well, I found myself announcing to my loved ones 'have you heard my big news?!' soon after they arrived and talking really openly about it while drinking red bull and smoking the odd cigarette (which I haven't done for years).  It was a good night and I was very proud of myself driving home at 2am!  Not so happy when I realised in bed shortly thereafter that I'd overdone it on the red bull and was too wired to sleep. 

Anyway, that's why I'm now thinking about how best to talk about my non-drinking.  But then again I suppose the longer it goes on the more everyone will know and it will just be a feature of my character.  Yeah, Mrs D doesn't drink alcohol so just give her a lime and soda.

That'll be me.



  1. I relate on so many levels. Now that I'm sober, I remember how pious I can get. Yuck. I get on my own nerves. Since I refuse to avoid bars or other places where drinking is happening because that's where all my friends are, I've had to learn to deal with the raised eyebrows when I order a cola. It goes away pretty quick and most people don't care whether your drinking or not as long as they can. And I made the mistake of drinking caffeinated tea at bedtime last night, flashbacks to my sleepless withdrawal nights where I'd get out of bed at 2 am to drink wine so I could sleep. So glad that I'm one of the lucky enlightened ones these days (see what I mean about my piety?lol) Have a great day.

  2. I have found if I casually say "oh, I don't drink, or I'm not drinking tonight, do you have mineral water?" Most people don't bat an eyelash. I think short and sweet works best. It is actually nobody else's business and if you are not sanctimonious and they feel uncomfortable than it is something to do with them.

  3. Happy Birthday!
    I like to say to drinking friends that they are lacking in moral fibre and it is a character flaw that they rely on booze.
    That gets everyone talking.
    Seriously, big deal about your 40th sober - fucking huge deal! Well done - I hope over time everyone sees you as sober Mrs D and just gets on with it. Normalizes it. Plus, you might become a bit of a lighthouse for others in your circle who are tired of drinking.

  4. Happy Birthday Mrs. D! Congrats on enjoying your birthday sober! THis is the first time I read your blog and am new to sobriety. I see me in your shoes, not avoiding the bars/parties b/c my friends are there. Im hoping in time to be as strong as you!

    Being a lighthouse to others.....sounds like a awesome thing!


  5. Happy Birthday! I love your post & the way I can relate to you... you and I are "the same kind Of drinker"... only after 5pm moist nights. Not a binger, just steady...