Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Constant Battle

Think about your favorite activity...think about a holiday activity...think about a social activity...think about a weekend activity...think about a relaxing activity...think about..well think about anything...does it involve drinking? I am not talking about getting hammered...but does it involve a drink? A beachy frozen drink, a warm winter drink, a fall pumpkin flavored drink, a chilled beer? I am going to guess that it does. Now, take the drink out of the equation...does that change the situation? Does it seem weird? This is what I am currently struggling with. Our society does not cater at all to non-drinkers. Actually the only non-drinkers that anyone ever considers are children. And it's not just college kids or post-graduates that I am talking about...its everyone...coworkers, family, restaurants, people who are married, people with kids, people who are happy, people who are sad...everyone. Therefore, this decision of mine will never get easier. Everyday is a constant struggle...everyday I have to remind myself why I made this decision and why I am sticking with it. Anytime I hear about a drink that I used to actually enjoy (frozen drinks, mimosas, pumpkin beers, etc), I remember how much I enjoyed the taste and I start to doubt what I am doing. I wonder, well it has been 9 months, that's good enough right? I am happy now, got a good thing going, right? Maybe I am all better? This lasts for maybe 15 seconds, and then I snap out of it. I think, what would I gain from doing this? Well..I'd be "normal" again...I'd enjoy the taste of whatever drink it is...mostly, I'd be normal. I remember that with these delicious drinks comes being drunk...something that I have never been good at and have struggled with and has negatively affected my life for years, and most importantly...something that I am happier without.
So then I get my head back on straight and I stay my course. But I am currently just frustrated with the lack of options for people that don't drink....water, soda, iced tea, coffee....that's it. And I am sure that me bitching about not having enough drink options at all social events seems absurd...but think about it, when you are trained to look forward to turning 21 so that you can order all of the fancy drinks, and when you walk into a bar or restaurant and there are pages and pages of alcoholic drinks...and then you are left out, it is no fun. Unfortunately, I have entered myself into a battle against society. This is no longer a battle within myself...I have accepted my decision and am happy with it...this is me versus the world. This is me versus basically everything in our society...and all societal norms...this is me versus the concept of being a grown up.

Fortunately, I think that this doubt and frustration is normal. If we didn't doubt decisions about our life and have to reevaluate and remind ourselves why we do what we do, then something would be wrong. Being forced to deal with these things will help me to continue to stick with my decision and will, in the end, help me to realize the benefits of my decision. I don't think you realize how prevalent something is until you stop doing it. I am actually surprised how much of an outsider I feel like now that I have quit drinking. I don't know a single other person like me. And in some ways I feel like I am a rare form of sober person because I don't mind drinking around me, I don't avoid drinking events, I still support other people drinking, and I think I am quite laid back about it all. I think before I thought it was myself that brought drinking into every activity I did (which is true), but I brought drinking into everything in mass quantities...the fact is, that drinking actually is involved in everything...not to a serious degree but on some level. I wonder why. Coming from being sober and no longer feeling out of control and no longer regretting my actions...why is a mind altering drug incorporated in everything? Why is everyone always trying to escape reality and why does everything have to seem more fun if you are drunk?

And so it continues...9.5 months later and I am still realizing things about myself and the world. That's a good thing though...I recommend you never stop questioning yourself and growing and learning...because knowing that tomorrow you will be stronger and smarter than you were today is a wonderful feeling.


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