The secret’s out, kind of…

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.

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9 thoughts on “The secret’s out, kind of…

  1. Anonymous May 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm Reply

    Hang in there. It gets better 🙂

  2. carrie May 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm Reply

    You did really well not to drink. It gets easier every time…they get bored of asking and it just becomes the new norm! I still have lots of coming outs to face each one different and some harder than others, but all worth it.
    Well done xx

  3. christinawoods May 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm Reply

    Great Job!!!! Proud of you!

  4. Mrs D May 6, 2013 at 10:51 pm Reply

    Hey yay for you that is a big first step. I don’t write about my family on my blog but suffice to say my mum is a HUGE drinker who never ever ever mentions that I don’t drink any more which is totally weird given that we are incredibly close. She did at the start but after I said to her ‘I’m more emotional now that I don’t drink’ and she said ‘I’ve never thought of drinking as being emotional’ the conversation stopped forever. Too hard for her. So I am the sober elephant in the room. It’s tricky.. and yes sometimes it’s hard and we feel like boring dickheads. But I always just try and pull back and think ‘big picture’. Big picture we are much better versions of ourselves sober. And everyone will think you are amazing and strong and wonderful if you stick to this. They may be a bit bemused, but they’ll admire the hell out of you. Honestly. Great job – you are doing great! Keep writing writing writing what is happening as it will help you as you go through all this early stuff. Sending love from New Zealand xxxx

  5. carrythemessage May 7, 2013 at 5:04 am Reply

    Well, things do get awkward when we stop taking the medicine that makes things less awkward (but makes thing MUCH worse in the end, ya know?)…and then the awkwardness dissipates. We start to learn to do things without booze. And this was one of those things. Will it always be awkward? Who knows, but probably not. Those who dwell on whether we drink or not are most always the ones who are afraid to look in the mirror regarding their own drinking. Not always, but usually. Regardless, this isn’t about anyone else’s drinking. it’s about your sobriety. And great job in sticking to your plan. And don’t be ashamed to say you felt like drinking. hell, we’re alcoholics. We want to drink. We drank. That’s what we did. So taking that away…well, damn, we’re going to get thirsty, aren’t we? Especially when things are feeling out of sorts…which is often always…ha ha. Anyway, you did a fantastic job, and like Mrs D said, keep writing.


  6. Belle (Tired2012) May 7, 2013 at 12:29 pm Reply

    i think you’ll find that those who mind the most are those that drink the most. and that, frankly, they’ll get bored with you if they can’t convince you to drink. i have friends who are looking for ‘someone to drink with them’ .. they don’t really care if it’s me or not!

  7. byebyebeer May 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply

    It’s hard going home to family now. I don’t see them often, but when I do, my dad always offers me a beer…it’s been close to 2 years now since I drank. They don’t understand it the way we do and that’s okay. Maybe it gets easier to ‘go home’ after some time. Even if it doesn’t, I feel proud of who I am when I go home. Hang in there. You handled yourself beautifully.

  8. soberjournalist May 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm Reply

    Thanks everyone for your kind words and comments. I think I am more sensitive to the reactions of my family than I am to my friends. And I also want everything to perfect, no awkard conversations…. so maybe I have unrealistic expectations. Anyway, Dad came home from the supermarket today with quite a few soft drinks as well as some beers, so maybe that’s progress?

  9. Anonymous May 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm Reply

    Dad’s trip to the market for soda sounds like progress to me 🙂
    Hang in there.

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