Alcohol is Everywhere

Monday January 11th, 2021

Day 7

I was inspired today by @clairei47 and her most recent post Bag of Tricks.

On Saturday I was doing my usual routine of drinking coffee and thumbing through my fave Saturday paper, The Globe and Mail. I came across this Winter Survival Guide with an illustration of a young couple happily playing chess in pyjamas and sipping red wine, and it kind of made me angry. At a time when I think many people are struggling with their alcohol intake simply because there’s not much else to do, we’ve all been stuck inside for almost a year now, and tons of people are battling anxiety, depression, etc., as a result of the pandemic, promoting alcohol as the answer to everything does not seem wise. Never mind those of us who actually have alcohol addictions! The picture suggests to me that it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing, if you want to get through this most horrible of winters, you better just drink. Flipping through the pages of the Winter Survival Guide there were at least two more illustrations of activities involving alcohol. In @clairei47’s last blog post, she talked about how she quit smoking a decade or so ago and after a couple of years she felt like a non-smoker. She was wondering if she would ever feel the same about alcohol now that she’s non-drinker. But also questioned whether the pervasiveness of alcohol would ever allow her to feel that way.

I was contemplating her thoughts and came to the conclusion that no, with society as it is around alcohol, I will never just be someone who doesn’t drink. I will always be someone with a problem, or who can’t drink. People don’t accept others being non-drinkers. There has to be a reason, like you’re pregnant, you have an illness, you’re Muslim, or you’re an alcoholic. In contrast, people who are vegetarians don’t have to have a reason. They can just say they decided not to eat meat anymore. Same goes for Vegans, those who have gone gluten free, and even those who have decided to cut sugar from their diets. In fact those people are applauded and admired! But for those of us deciding to cut alcohol from our diets, I feel that it will forever be viewed as weird, and we will always be asked why. I don’t think I’ve EVER asked a vegetarian why they’re a vegetarian, because a) it’s none of my business b) I don’t really care what someone else eats and c) isn’t it obvious why? They don’t want to eat meat. So using the same logic, isn’t it obvious why I’m not drinking? I don’t want to ingest alcohol. Full stop. Maybe that will just be my answer going forward when someone asks why I’m not drinking I’ll just say, “I don’t want to.” then stare at them blankly 😐.

Why do we have to declare ourselves as having a problem with alcohol in order to explain not drinking? I also have a problem with chips, but I never find that if I take a pass on the chip bowl at a party that anyone asks why or tries to push me to eat chips. Imagine I had to declare upon arrival at a party that I have a problem with chips, particularly Sour Cream & Onion, and I will therefore not be eating chips tonight and please don’t try to make me eat them. There’s just such a strange phenomenon that happens around alcohol in our society and culture. Everyone knows it’s not good for you, many of us also know that we drink too much and should probably cut back, but we’ve been so brainwashed into believing that we should be drinking basically all the time anyway. Got something to celebrate? Drink!! Aunt just died? Drink!! It’s summer and the sun is out? Drink!! You’re struggling through a Global Pandemic? Drink!!

I will say however, that it’s a relief to see there is gradual change happening. I think that with more people coming forward and being vulnerable, sharing their decision to stop drinking, it’s beginning to gain more acceptance. I truly hope that this continues and that someday we will all feel more comfortable saying no to alcohol and not feeling the pressure to explain.

Happy Monday everyone! Xx

11 thoughts on “Alcohol is Everywhere

  1. I don’t feel like someone who has a problem. I feel like someone who just doesn’t drink.

    And I was a huge drinker, engineering school, hard drinking friends, etc.

    I honestly feel like I know the truth…and those still drinking just don’t get it. They are still wasting their time numbing the world and missing out on so much.

    Occasionally someone I know says, you need a drink and I think, could this person not know I am sober? I’m usually pretty upfront about it…and I love to share, lol. But it doesn’t phase me in the least.

    Don’t worry, that all fades away.


  2. We don’t have to have a problem. Amen.
    No one asks me, but if they did, I would overshare! LOL Then they would look mortified and run away!
    Like Anne, it doesn’t bother me, and it might help someone who needs help!

  3. Thanks for the reference 😁😁
    It doesn’t bother me if people ask me now and actually it happens far less (maybe because I never go out anywhere!!). It used to make me feel awful though. Embarrassed and self conscious. I could sense people thinking ‘blimey, I didn’t know she was an alcoholic!’. Often the majority of the evening was taken up with people talking about drinking, how much they drank, trying to reassure themselves they aren’t as bad as me!! It was awful. I agree, I think I will always have a addiction to it and I’m not about to test that out and risk ruining all I have achieved. I’m so proud now. I don’t care what others think about why I gave up. I just tell them it’s changed me life for the better and so why not!? Xx

    1. It’s true isn’t it, how much people talk about how much they drink and trying to make themselves feel okay about it. I’m looking forward to when I can get to the point where I don’t care anymore and just tell people I don’t drink and I don’t worry about it. I’m kind of thankful that right now it’s easy because I’m not going out or seeing anyone anyway. In many ways the lockdown has made this easier for me.

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