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How to make it Awkward

Things you say and do that makes it awkward for a sober woman:

The questions you ask--

1) Why don’t you drink?

2) Is it a personal preference?

3) Do you not like the taste of alcohol?

4) You can’t just have one drink?

5) Are you really never going to drink again?

6) What do you do instead?

7) What do you do for fun then?

8) Are you pregnant?

I know I’ve gotten more questions and statements than those listed above, but that’s what comes to mind right now. Everyone has a reason for why they don’t do something. An incident happened in someone’s life that makes them act the way that they do and why they choose to not do something. Maybe it is a personal preference or maybe they don’t like the taste of alcohol. What’s the problem with being different? What’s the problem with not doing the norm? Try to understand.

Someone who is an alcoholic can’t just have one drink. Alcoholism is a disease and it’s an addiction. That’s the same thing (not really) as asking someone to eat one potato chip. Who has just one potato chip? Hardly anyone. So no, I can’t just have one drink. I want more than one drink---that’s the problem. That’s alcoholism. Understanding that you aren’t in control, alcohol is. Alcohol is running your life.

Being an alcoholic you can’t drink again. That means you’ve broken your sobriety streak. That means alcohol has won again and taken over your life. That means we weren’t strong enough to say no and walk away. That means we have to start the sobriety clock all over.

Though I’ve had this habit since I was 21, and started drinking when I was 16, it was difficult to know what to do instead. I would go out all the time, during the weekday and weekends. It got bad in college and into my first job after college. It’s just what I did. I spent so much money on alcohol to the point that I maxed out my credit cards, all of them. I do stay home a lot more and that’s perfectly fine with me. I spend more time with my dog, I’m more organized, and I do more things for myself than ever before. It took me a while to actually go out and be okay being around alcohol. I’m okay to see people drink in front of me now, but when I see people around me drinking too much, I leave. I get myself out of a situation that I don’t want to be in anymore. I say “okay” because it’s still something I’m not comfortable with. Out of sight, out of mind. In sight, in mind.

What do I do for fun? This is always an interesting question to get, and I get it a lot. My life was surrounded by everything related to drinking. Going to the bars. Going to a party. Going to a game. Going out to dinner and ordering drinks. Going to wine tastings and beer gardens. That was how I defined fun. But I realize, I can still do those things but I don’t have to drink. Sure I may be the only one not drinking, but that’s okay.

Am I pregnant? This was probably one of the most offensive questions I got. Not only would I not answer that question, but why would you ask that? Because I’m a woman? Because I’m a woman that doesn’t drink? So you assume that because I’m a woman, and I don’t drink, I’m pregnant. Fuck off.

The statements you say--

1) You don’t know what you’re missing.

2) I could never do that.

3) You don’t have a problem.

4) You’re not an alcoholic.

5) I don’t understand.

I do know what I’m missing. I miss the out of body experience when I was drunk. I miss the yummy mixed drinks. I miss the cold bubbly beer during a hot summer. I miss drinking warm coffee with a swig of alcohol. I miss sitting down on my couch with a bottle of wine and watching some sappy girl movie. I miss having a glass of wine with dinner. I think what I miss the most is just being like everyone else and not be judged. Don’t assume you know a person or what they’re doing through.

Being sober isn’t easy. This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life. Having the strength to get through every day without drinking, it’s easier said than done. It has gotten a bit better with time but it’s still there. I realized this when Perry had left over alcohol in the house and I found it. I knew where it was and I kept thinking about it. I moved it up above the kitchen cabinets but now I saw it every time I walked by the kitchen. What if I just had a little taste? He wouldn’t know but I would know. Was it worth it? When our friends came over for a late New Year’s Eve party, I told them to take it all home. Thank you for bringing wine and stuff over, but I don’t want it. Please just take the alcohol away or I’m going to drink it. If it stays, I have to pour it down the drain. And I did--I poured it out myself and recycled the bottle.

Don’t assume anyone doesn’t have a problem. Telling someone who has a problem that they don’t have a problem, is not the best advice. Then they question themselves. Wait, do I not have a drinking problem? Maybe I don’t. Maybe I just need to be better about my limit. Maybe I can just try one drink. If you have never been around alcoholics, or grew up in an alcoholic environment, you can’t tell someone they aren’t an alcoholic. The only people who say this to someone is one who doesn’t understand what alcoholism is.

Educate yourself if you don’t understand. You can ask me questions all day if you want to. Though it’s difficult to talk about and admit to, that’s the only way that anyone is going to understand. Put yourself in a different perspective.

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