Saturday, November 26, 2011

Not Drinking During the Holidays.

If not drinking is generally difficult, because of self-loathing, or because it calms anxiety, or because it is isolating, or because you find yourself at ten in the morning with a bottle of whiskey and the rabid intensity, and joy, of a live birth, then not drinking during the holidays is even harder.

And it is harder for one reason: shame.

I'm convinced that not drinking is easier if you say you're not drinking (not, ya know, just generally, but when you're in a drinking environment).  Own up to it, say it, out loud, to yourself and others, and, say that it is your preference, and don't explain anything else.  You don't really have to, even when they gawk, and stare, and worse, forget, and make you repeat yourself, and when they get loud and sloppy and needlessly stupid and romantic for nothing, and rage against the world and rage against themselves, and rage against you.  Ultimately, you are not drinking, not because of all the negative shit drinking leads to, but because you value yourself more than that, and drinking is, for you, or me, or whomever you might be, self-inflicted abuse.  You don't need to say that to anyone, but you don't need to feel bad about not-drinking, either.  Ever.

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