At work yesterday I had a long and stressful day. One of my colleagues who knows that I haven’t been drinking, suggested that a large G&T would be in order when I got home and I replied something along the lines of “I’ll have to make it a virgin mojito”. Another colleague then asked if I was on a diet or just trying to be healthier. Without thinking, the words “I don’t drink anymore” popped out of my mouth. The colleague asked if I had lost weight as a result and I replied “not an ounce” and that was it. That was it.
Thinking about how I would explain my not drinking has been a BIG thing in my mind. What should I say? How should I say it? When? What would people think?
Until yesterday the only people I had shared the news of my sobriety with were a couple of close friends, Mr So, my counsellor and my GP. Although some know more than others, they all know that my drinking had become a problem.
The colleague I shared my BIG news with yesterday didn’t seem to think much of it at all. Not in a negative, “I don’t know what all the fuss is about” kind of way. More of a matter of fact “not drinking is no big deal” kind of way. If it crossed her mind I might have a problem with alcohol, that I might even be an alcoholic she certainly didn’t show it. And whereas before I would have worried that people would be gossiping about me behind my back, now I don’t think they are and quite frankly if they are, so what?
I didn’t expect it to be this way. I expected to face challenges and confrontation. I thought I would have to justify my decision not to drink and be forced to share with others the truth about all the shameful things I did when I was drinking. Thinking about them as I write makes me shudder. I know not everyone will react in the same way as my colleague but saying those words “I don’t drink any more” felt good. So now I am not frightened about saying them again and again – I DON’T DRINK ANYMORE – and it feels great.