It can be exhausting justifying why you are sober. You have two choices really, tell the truth or make an excuse. I am still at the stage where I am making excuses and to be honest, it’s getting irritating.
I met a friend this week, she was completely shocked that I was still sober. It’s strange, I am finding that a lot of people who seemed really understanding at the beginning of my journey are now questioning it. It’s almost like they have lost patience with this ‘fad’ of mine.
My friend asked so many questions, Can’t I just have one or two? Can’t I just have one at Christmas/ Isn’t it making me eat more/ Aren’t I bored when I go out? and on and on.
I answered all of the questions and by the end of the conversation I felt deflated and a bit tired to be honest. I am not sure if it is the time of the year, but I feel like I am justifying my position constantly. It actually makes me feel flat and quite sad.
There is no other drug in the world that would elicit this response when a person gives it up. I gave up smoking over 20 years ago and in all of that time, I have not ever had to justify why I gave up. Yet here I am justifying constantly my reasons for giving up the very dangerous and addictive drug, alcohol.
Very occasionally it makes me question my decision, those old fears that I am being dramatic and I don’t have an issue pop back into my head. Luckily I squash them quite quickly, but if I was earlier in my journey or wavering at all, that may not be the case.
I am now getting to the point where I think I am just going to be honest and say that when I start drinking I can’t stop. However, I am pretty sure someone will suggest that I just have one or two still! It’s infuriating. I know that a lot of the questions and criticisms revolve around how others are thinking about their drinking. Me giving up has made them question their own drinking and it is easier to question my decision than to question themselves.
If you think about it, it’s crazy that a drug which causes amongst other illnesses, cancer and liver disease. A drug that is known to cause violent actions and is indeed a known factor in domestic violence. A drug that causes accidents, which may result in death or life-changing injuries etc. Is advertised everywhere and those of us who choose not to partake are considered the odd ones? The ones who need to justify their behaviour, shouldn’t it be the other way around?
A while ago some friends and I were discussing how you discourage people from questioning you. I joked that I may start saying that alcohol gives me diarrhoea, no one would want me to elaborate on that one! I haven’t done it yet but if the questions keep coming I may start 😉