Becoming sober was probably the easiest decision I had to make. Maintaining it is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.
In a society which glorifies and actively promotes the drinking culture, having to cope with the bombardment of adverts and images of people having a wonderful time and the majority of social engagements involving ‘getting lashed’, this makes sobriety hard to sustain at times.
I am often judged on my teetotal status and not in a good way!
Below are some comments that drive me nuts;
“What do you mean, you don’t drink, what’s the matter with you?”
“Christ, I bet your life is boring”
“I bet you’re a barrel of laughs on a night out”
” A coke? What you drinking coke for? Howay man have a vodka? What about half a lager? A shandy? You can have a shandy at least!!”
A lot of people don’t really understand and that’s OK. People choose to become teetotal for a variety of reasons whether it be through choice for health reasons, religion or because of alcoholism or dependency issues.
Either way, it’s their choice and it should be respected like any other choice.
Here’s a list of some considerations for all you non teetotallers:
- Please understand that this decision didn’t just come from a whim. It was made through struggles I keep private a lot of the time.
- Please keep it confidential. A lot of the time I’m open and honest about things but I would hate for my situation to be discussed like a dirty secret or the latest gossip from a trashy mag.
- I’m still ME! I’m teetotal, I haven’t had a lobotomy.
- I’m never going to judge your drinking.
- Do invite me to all the usual social events and activities (unless it’s a wine tasting because that’s just insensitive!)
- Please be patient with me and be aware that I take each day as it comes so don’t be mad if I’ve accepted an invite but then cancel beforehand.
- Please have some alternatives for me on-hand if you are hosting an event or gathering but I will likely arrive with my own.
- Most importantly; don’t assume, ASK! If you’re unsure on anything please come to me.