Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Family Reunion

I've just sent in my RSVP for a family reunion I'm attending later in the year and the banter has already begun. My cousins have been posting back and forth on Facebook about how the bar will need to be well stocked. My southern cuzzies are coming too. Most of them like to give it a good nudge and the old me would have been heading straight for the bar too.

I started typing something along the lines of, "I'm off the booze, but I'm sure that won't hold you fellas back." Then something in the back of my mind told me not to announce my sobriety to them. I thought better of it and deleted the flickering words letter by letter. I'll cross that bridge in December when either they ask me directly why I'm not drinking, or I successfully drink mocktails with nobody the wiser that I'm the only sober person in the room.

My instincts tell me to be discreet rather than forthcoming on this occasion. Similarly I'm not taking a loudhailer to my 40th in October, but I'm happy to tell people if they ask.

It's probably a moot point anyway. Knowing my parents they've probably already blabbed it to the entire whānau.

Am I worried what my family will think of my decision? Am I nervous I'll be challenged about my choice? Am I worried that they'll feel like I'm criticising them, and their drinking, by touting my sobriety? Maybe I'm feeling a little bit of all of those things.

When I decided to quit alcohol my sole aim was to try to improve my life. My decision wasn't made to cast shade on anyone else. I'm not trying to be better than you, the drinker, I'm just trying to be a better me.

I'm looking forward to catching up with my family. We don't all gather in the same place nearly enough, other than for a funeral.

It'll be a blast!

Do I secretly wish I could hit the grog with them? Yeah .... nah. There's always going to be some event on the horizon where the booze is flowing. It'll be valuable practice getting involved and not missing it. No more beersies for me.


  1. It's a fine line that feeling that people might be judging you for not drinking/thinking you're judging them for drinking. I often think to myself "I'm an alcoholic NOT the alcohol police!!" in other words always reminding myself that me not drinking is only about my relationship with myself and not my opinions about anyone else. Hopefully that comes across. Everyone in my family drinks.. and they still do around me with the same attitude (it seems) so it would appear (hopefully) that they're not worried I'm judging them. Which I'm not. The only thing I do think sometimes is how great it would be if some people could experience the amazing lift that I have experienced in removing alcohol from my life, but then I have to remind myself that their life is their life to lead and mine is mine and we all get to make our own choices. Anyway, you sound like you're in a really good space with it all! x

  2. Yes it's a shame that it does often tend to make others feel a little bit uncomfortable. However, just like you say, you/we are not trying to do that at all, so the decision I've come to about this is that it is their problem, and not for me to be concerned about. Does no one any harm to be unconsciously caused to do a bit of self reflection anyway, and sooner or later they will realise that you are not out to make anyone uncomfortable about their choices. I think you are wise re the reunion. Just take it as it comes.x

  3. You might be surprised and they might just give you 5-10 minutes of ribbing and then move on. If you buy a round of drinks, it proves to them you don't have issue with them drinking. My best friend is 16 months in and said she has only had one time at an event that someone wouldn't let it go and they were very drunk them self. When I did a sober Christmas I went out of my way to have a good time and laugh and joke to prove I wasn't a party pooper. It funnily enough was my best Christmas ever. You will be quite far into you journey by December and you may be happy to just ride out whatever comes your way. You'll be better able to judge after your 40th celebration. Well done anyway and keep it up.

  4. Cheers guys! So nice to have your positive reinforcement!