I’m just gonna get right to some of the hard topics early-on in our blogging relationship. You good with that? You didn’t really have a choice, anyway. But you’re still reading, so there’s that.
I’m still fun!
Surprise - I don’t drink alcohol. It doesn’t bother me that I choose to not drink. Does it bother you? My guess is that you secretly answered that with a ‘yes’. I can’t explain it, but in general, people legit get weirded out when someone else doesn’t drink in their presence.
It’s almost like me not drinking makes other people feel insecure with their own drinking habits. Let me be clear - I do NOT judge you for what or how much you drink unless you’re spinning out of control. Like, you’ve had one too many glasses of wine and we’re giggling like crazy at a girls night or we’re dancing on a table together? AWESOME! You’re blacking out or can’t stop talking about the next time you get to drink? Ya, I’m gonna be concerned - as a good friend should.
I made a decision to not drink almost 5 years ago. That was my choice. I made that choice for my health and my family. I wanted to be more present while my children were young. I didn’t want them to witness a culture where everything revolved around alcohol. I wanted them to see their mom (and sometimes dad) having fun without a drink in their hand. I didn’t want them to think that they need to have alcohol when they grow up because only people who drink alcohol have fun.
So much of our culture revolves around alcohol. We’re taught this party culture at a young age. It’s usually the first thing offered or discussed when we walk into a party. Our children watch as we laugh and take shots with friends at BBQs. They see us buy beer or wine with our everyday groceries, making it seem like one of the necessities. My kids saw mommy receive gifts of wine every time we had friends over. It was common for them to associate mommy with a glass of wine in her hand just about every night. How did I expect them to make healthy choices when they grow up if I wasn’t leading by example?
We teach our youth that they can’t properly function as an adult without alcohol. We teach them that it can be a rite of passage, a crutch, a companion, an extension of us. We need it to unwind. We need it to have fun. We need it to cope. Why wouldn’t they think that they, too, need this magical substance to function in life.
I didn’t go to AA, by choice. I think AA is a wonderful program and I absolutely respect those that have gone through it and continue to do so. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I had some great support and an excellent therapist at the time to help me.
Despite all of the positives that came out of me not drinking in an unhealthy manner, there are negative ones too. I think I get left out sometimes. Maybe I’m being too sensitive, I can’t remember the last time I was invited on a wine tasting trip or to parties where the main objective is to get mind-blowingly shmammered. Was I not invited because they think I wouldn’t have fun or because they don’t want to feel like I’m judging them? I’ll never know. It just makes me sad. Making the guest list should be determined by our level of friendship, not my alcohol consumption - or lack thereof.
Maybe I’m missing the blessing in it. Maybe I’d be annoyed or have to babysit my drunk friends. In any case, I really don’t miss drinking at all. I’m happy doing me. And I have my wine-glass hand free now! Although, it’s typically replaced with a cup of coffee now-a-days.
My choice has nothing to do with you, so please don’t take it personally. You don’t have to worry about me at a party. You don’t have to wonder if I’m okay or if I’m having fun just because I’ve been downing water all night. Chances are, I’m having just as much fun as you. I discovered that don’t need “liquid courage” to let my hair down and have a kick-ass time. The best part is, I can remember every conversation and I don’t feel like crap the next morning anymore. I’m not a morning person (that’s an understatement), but those days of a throbbing head and the Sahara desert all-up-in my mouth are long gone. I really don’t know if I’ll ever drink again, but it’s really not keeping me at the edge of my seat. Some people just can’t fathom that.
For now, I am enjoying today.