I’m writing this from my bedroom at my parents’ house. It’s my childhood home and I’m sat at the same desk I used to do my homework at. I still have my own room here, complete with fading posters and drawers full of old clothes I never wear any more.
I live several hours away from my parents and haven’t seen them since mid March. My brother and sister have also come home and I’ve been looking forward to seeing everyone. But I’ve also been worrying, as I knew my new sober lifestyle would not go unnoticed.
Sure enough, within half an hour I was offered a beer as we headed outside for a drink before dinner. I said no and got a diet coke instead. Nothing was said at this point; my sister also had a coke. But when we came in for dinner Dad was pouring everyone large glasses of wine. “What?!” He said when I told him. “What’s brought this on?”
I’d known this question would be asked at some point but I still hadn’t prepared an answer. So I found myself explaining that I was trying not to drink for 100 days. (Well, this is true). I said it was partly a health thing (again, kind of true) and that I was also doing it just to see if I could.
So … it was awkward. Did I want a drink last night? Yes, kind of. I wanted to drink to fit in again, to ease the slight tension. Sometimes being sober feels so isolating. The irony is that my brother and sister are not big drinkers, but because they’ve always been that way it’s just accepted. It’s annoying. I guess people don’t like change.