2018 has arrived and I am still beyond grateful to be considering the possibilities for this brand spanking new year totally free from alcohol. This was my fifth holiday season without booze. I do notice how baffled people are that I simply don’t drink.
At work one of our service providers asked my husband what kind of wine I drink because he wanted to drop a bottle off before we closed shop for the holidays. When my husband told him that it was totally not necessary, he persisted. “No really, red or white? I am gonna bring one by so my as well be what she likes…” My husband told him “…actually she doesn’t drink at all and hasn’t for years…” Apparently after that little bit of information was shared, the phone went silent for a very pregnant pause. And then as though he could not have heard that last statement correctly, the service provider repeated the incredulous statement he had just heard, “…she doesn’t drink anything at all???” When he was reassured that he had heard correctly, my husband said the call ended awkwardly. I never received wine or a card or chocolate or a cookie. My sobriety completely knocked this guy off his game. I am totally fine with not receiving a holiday offering, we had lots (too much) already at our house. But… it does make me shake my head at what a stir somebody else’s tee-totalling or self-care in this department can cause.
I suppose I would have been equally weirded out back in my drinking days if someone had dropped that bomb on me too. It all seems so strange to me now though. It feels like I am living my life in a totally rebellious way. Going completely against the current. Doing what seems to be absolutely crazy to most. Rebel Wellness I have started to call it. If I didn’t drink coffee because it made me feel less well after ingesting, no one would bat an eye at that choice. If I chose not to eat meat for my own reasons, most people would not even think twice. If I decided veggies were not my thing, the response I would likely get would sound like this “huh.” But tell someone that I choose not to drink because it does not add value to my life and watch jaws drop and the need for clarification just to be sure I had said what I said.
I find that I am so much more vocal to those around me about my lifestyle choice, especially to servers when asking what I might drink that could be special. If I want there to be non-boozy choices than I have to ask to create the demand for non-boozy choices. It seems that it gets easier for me to let people know because after all these days strung together, I know what to expect. Shocked silence or a “good for you” when what is really meant is WTF? And that is okay. It is a great tradeoff – social oddity in some settings while enjoying every single next morning hangover free. No brainer. At this stage for my own wellness, I am finding the need to voice my choice more often. What began as a shaky, shy “I don’t drink” becomes stronger and more confident (and proud) each time I assert my lifestyle choice. I feel that if I want this choice to be normal, people need to see that rarely sighted animal in the flesh: the non-drinker. Rebel Wellness – going against the grain since 2014 or so…