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.