It rolled off my tongue, it was the first time I've made that claim: I don't drink. I was waiting for the school bus and a colleague was asking me if I was going to the all staff social event this Thursday. (I have no plans to go because it is at a bar and far away from where I live and probably none of my friends are going.) She was promoting that I go, talking about the 20% off of drinks and good food, its for St. Patrick's Day...and in part of my excuses of why i wasn't going was that I don't drink. She still pestered me a bit saying I should go, but I too self-consumed in my declaration to really listen much any more to her. I don't drink.
My first fear is that immediately or later she would say to me, "You don't drink? That's not what I heard..." and then tell me some gossip she has heard about my recent past. Or that someone else in a few days would come up to me and say they heard from her that I don't drink and then accuse me of lying. Then I would have to explain myself and expose that I'm not drinking because I have a problem.
The work life and social life is all mixed up here, and I fear that somehow my new sobriety will be used against me professionally. Instead of being brave and strong and taking control of this thing, I fear I will be seen as weak, immoral, and untrustworthy. I know when I think of "recovery" I think eminent relapse. Fishbowl living is rough on my psyche sometimes.
But again, I probably am stressing over nothing-no one cares about my drinking habits as much as I do. And honestly, if they do, I shouldn't care what they think, right? And with more sober time under my belt I will better be able to talk about it as history compared to what I'm going through right now. As in, "Oh yeah, I stopped drinking 2 years ago...nah, I don't miss it."
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp -Almost Alcoholic by Joseph Nowinski and Robert Doyle -After the Tears: Helping Adult Children of Alcoholics Heal Their Childhood by Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell