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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You are about to read the blog I did not want to write, but for some reason I feel the need to do so.  I have made reference to it a few times and there are personal attributes that will not be breached.  This is something that clarified a few areas of my life and was also the breaking point for others.  Now, I am going to talk about alcohol and where I stand on it now.

Picture me as you will in whatever form you desire.  There are a few people in this world who think I am a vile being and most likely assume I have done many horrible things in my life that I have not (two of them are mentioned here).  Within that same plane, there are some people who think very highly of me for reasons I may never be able to fully digest.  Then there are those who think I am nothing special and just move on.  Whomever you happen to be, rest assured that I will leave enough holes in this blog for you to keep your opinion and not try to sway you into thinking I am anything else.  That is not my goal.  This is more of a confession I am opening up to maybe help someone, even if it is personal to me.

Imagine your typical twenty-two year old and the pictures you see of them on Facebook (I said typical, not everyone).  Bars, lots of people, inebriation, some other stuff that is not exactly flattering.  Some may find it shocking that at one point, I was in that experience; others whom I was running with at the time would think nothing of it at all besides wondering what happened to me.  Like I said, no details about that and I will allow you to make your own assumptions.  Though, rest assured, there was never an instance any drugs or promiscuity on my end, even if the actions of those I was with spoke differently.  Other than that, I was just like everyone else who surrounded me.

At twenty-three I made a decision after hearing someone say the phrase "Sober October" and I decided to jump right into that for no real reason at all.  I would still go out with the same people during that month, but they all knew what I was doing and looked at me sort of stupidly.  When you are that age, surrounded by other people in that demographic and you are the only one not drinking, most of those people have the set goal of getting you to drink;  and that is just how it goes.  I never caved on my Sober October ventures for two entire years and actually ran it through to Sober November once.  The goal of my "friends" was always the same, but they never succeeded in getting me to drink during that time I had set aside not to.  Then they started disappearing from my life.

The longer I stayed away from drinking, the less people wanted to be around me.  This was after just two months.  When my sober months were over, not a single one of those people were left in my life.  Then I went to a dark place and spent far too long there.  How long?  Longer than you think.  Alcohol came back though.  I spent most of my time alone for that whole period and very few people who were not family stuck by me;  I could count them on one hand that was missing a few fingers.  Even fewer than that thought anything was going on or noticed.  The reason is because I do not talk about it, but I was very much alone.  Again, no drugs and nothing sexual. Make your own assumptions.

After my world fell apart a few times, starting with church, then school, then my job, I decided to make a change.  I thought back to the nineteen year old who was on top of the world and wanted to get back there (I think I was more mature back then, regardless).  When I was nineteen, I had everything I ever wanted, the most awesome friends, minimal responsibilities, and my mind was the farthest from being foggy.  That day, I left the past behind me and started over.  You hear it on television shows hyped up with emotion that "everyone remembers the day they stopped *fill in the blank*."  I do not.  The date and time had no significance to me at all because I decided to regain my focus and get back to a better place for myself and not an exact date.  How long has it been?  Some of you know and I will only tell you if I want to because that is a part of the promise I made to myself.  I did tell someone over the weekend whom I had not seen in a very long time.  

I was at a party this past Sunday and happened to be around some of the people I was talking about earlier.  One of the guys walked up, gave me a hug with a smile and said "Why don't you grab a beer?"  and I responded with "I'm still sober." His shocked reply:  "STILL?!  Holy shit, man.  Good for you!" But we talked and had a good time just like we always did.  Everyone acted just like that towards me.  Instead of being ridiculed and told to take a shot as happened years before, my decision was respected.  Maybe because they were taking my decision seriously for the first time.

With that being said, I get strange responses from people if I know them or not when they find out I do not drink anymore.  All of this makes me feel really alienated and kicked out of the club, so to speak.  When most people find out about my sobriety, they assume it relates to a religious thing; but it does not.  When that reaction is not given to me, they assume I cannot have any fun if everyone else is drinking and I am not;  not true at all.  The other assumption is that I should not be around because it may make me want to take a drink;  not in the least bit.  The thing is, when I set a goal or rule for myself, I stick with it because I made the commitment.  I am much stronger than you think and alcohol is just something I would rather do without right now.  Unless you have a visible problem with it, I really could not care less if you drink or whatever it is you do if it does not damage you emotionally or physically; I have no reason to judge you for drinking just because I made a choice not to drink, and I will not.  Being around alcohol has no effect on me but I am fairly convinced I will never be able to convince anyone of that, because I have tried pretty hard to do so and failed. 

Just remember, that unless they tell you otherwise, your non-drinking friends are willing to hang out with you even if you do have a bottle in your hand.  The fact that they do not drink does not always have to do with will power and does not mean they are all recovering alcoholics or really religious people.  As far as I am concerned?  Pretty please, with a cherry on top, do not make me hang out with the church kids again; they are weird and listen to cheesy music...

Will I ever have another drink?  I have no idea because I do not think about it.  But try not to judge me or think irrationally because I make a personal decision not to.  
I am still whatever scum bucket or saint you already think I am.

Grace and Peace,

The lyrics in the title of this blog are from this song:



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