Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Why Ex-Drinkers Rock!

We ex-drinkers get a really bad rap. Which is why so many of us stay in the closet for weeks, if not months or years, after quitting drinking. If you give up smoking you tell the world and everyone pats you on the back. Give up drinking and you mumble apologetically about 'being on antibiotics.' Why?

It's not at all surprising when you look at the image of the ex-drinker. We're seen as weak willed, lacking in self control, abnormal, ill, addicted. Which makes absolutely no sense at all. How can you - Mrs drinker - accuse me of being weak willed, lacking in self control, abnormal, ill and addicted when I haven't had a drink for 16 days (woo hoo!), while you're still downing the best part of a bottle every evening? Who's really the weak willed one? I'm the healthy, normal person - not the lady who is still obsessed by 'wine o'clock' and doing terrible damage to her liver every day.

We are not lacking in self control. We're the ones who've looked hard at our lives and decided to do something about it, despite swimming against the tide of the rest of society. We are bl***y strong, and we should be wearing t-shirts celebrating the fact, not hiding behind 'an important meeting in the morning' or 'got to drive home'.

Okay, maybe in the past we had an eeensy little issue with moderation, but is that such an awful thing? I bet we're not moderate in anything, and on the whole that's laudable.

I may have been hopeless at moderating nicotine (I smoked 30 a day before giving up 13 years ago) and alcohol, but I don't moderate the good stuff either. Anything I do, I do with gusto - the career, friendship, motherhood, marriage - and my drinking buddies were the same.

I met some of the most interesting and wonderful people smoking behind the bike sheds and staying late at the party with an additional bottle. We were the rebels - the ones who loved pushing the boundaries and riling against the rules. And I'm still a rebel at heart, and proud of it. Personally, I would much rather chat to the ex-drinker at a party than the person who's never coloured outside the lines.

We are not bad people, we're people with a massive lust for life who have just realised that we've got to the stage where we need to re-focus our enthusiasm onto something a bit less self-destructive. And whatever we re-focus on we'll do brilliantly.

Now, I'm not ready to come out yet and deal with everyone else's negative perceptions, but I'm sure as hell not going to beat myself up when I'm doing the bravest and best thing I've done in my life to date.

I rock! And so do you! So they can stick that in their oversized wine glass and drink it.

Apologies to my regular readers, but I'm going to have to stop posting every day and post every two or three days instead. I've got to do something about the finished novel languishing in my desk drawer, plus I'm worried about running out of stuff to say. I don't want to start boring you! I will reply to comments daily, though, so please stay in touch. And if you have any topics you'd like me to post on then please let me know.

Have a great, immoderate, day. SM x

Related post: Why Ex-Drinkers Rock! Part 2

17 comments:

  1. Morning sm how I agree with everything you say !! In fact on Saturday eve ( the cocktail party) I was going with the intention of muttering about being on anti biotics instead after the first soft drink and the start of everyone else hitting the bar I decided to be honest ( I realised they would be too p***** at the end of the evening to remember my muttering a anyway !! The reaction was delightfully surprising .. Quite a few confessed to the same old story as ours feeling guilty re their drinking but continuing to knock back a bottle (or two ) each night after a stressful day and they too needed to do the same x it actually felt good confessing it also meant I then had to live up to their now expectations of me !! Anyway rambling now ... Good luck with your writing I'm sure you will go full steam ahead with gusto !! Look forward to hearing from you in a couple of days x k

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    1. Well done on coming out! I'm still 'giving up for Lent', but Lent's over in a couple of weeks! I may need to take the plunge....

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  2. Morning & greetings from Portlandia. In the same boat here. I've been apologetic and tripping over myself encouraging friends to go ahead and have a drink and not worry about me. When one isn't drinking, it seems to make the rest uncomfortable. Perhaps they think we sit in judgment? I love what you say about the gusto extending into all areas of your life. I need to rediscover my gusto & mojo!

    I can't say I won't miss the daily dispatch, but I'll be sending encouragement your way for your novel and will try to figure out if I can set up an alert for new entries. Otherwise, I'll check back regularly.

    You're doing so great--congrats on 16 days!! You do indeed rock! x

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    1. Ummm, setting up an alert was ridiculously easy. I'm embarrassed I even mentioned it! For anyone else wondering -- just enter your email in the Follow by Email (so vaguely worded!) below. :)

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    2. You rock too! Mojos and (virgin) mojitos are the way forward ;-)

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  3. I love ex-drinkers, too!
    We are funny and life-lovers!
    Have fun writing your book!
    Wendy

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    1. Thanks, Paul! I love getting comments from blokes - most seem too shy! SM x

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  5. How is it going with that novel? I'm a literary translator and happen to translate YA fiction (some of the time) so I may have some tips for you, or if it's been accepted by a publisher, I would like to read it.

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  6. How is it going with that novel? I'm a literary translator and happen to translate YA fiction (some of the time) so I may have some tips for you, or if it's been accepted by a publisher, I would like to read it.

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    1. Wow, Ulla! The novel is in a drawer. I'm doing a re-edit after the holidays then sending it out to agents (and entering a couple of competitions). I'll let you know who it goes... Love SM x

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    2. You should reconsider that agent-thing. Deal with the publishers directly and hire a rights attorney when it becomes time to sign anything. At least look here first - I realise she's American, but still. http://kriswrites.com/?s=agents

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  8. As a late-comer to your blog I'm reading it from the beginning. I'm on Day 1 (again) but this time I've started a 100 day challenge in the hope of breaking the bad habit. I have had to write down what you say about us being "...not bad people...massive lust for life...we need to refocus our enthusiasm..." which is exactly what I think about myself although I've lost so much confidence and even enthusiasm for life. By breaking the drinking habit I strongly believe I will get my mojo happening and start being the creative I want to be...and do it "brilliantly". Great post SM xx

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    1. You will CM! Well done you! Have you read Jason Vale yet? If not, please do - it really helps get your head in the right place. Please stay in touch. Big hugs xx

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  9. So well said...I haven't even quite admitted to myself that I've completely stopped drinking...this was just supposed to be for the month of February!!
    However, as I am now realising more and more from how I feel, that I'm not keen to go through this again. I too was a heavy smoker years ago, and have been a heavy drinker for a long while too....I don't think I can do 'moderation'...it's all or nothing....however one day at a time...I'm so glad I found this blog today, I've been really struggling over the last copule of days, and you have made me realise I'm not alone...thank you xxx

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    1. Welcome Amanda! So glad you found me and huge congrats on making it this far - you've done the hardest bit already! If you keep reading you'll see it all gets easier and better! Xxx

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