Opinion: Alcohol & Health

Sober and Social: Staying Sober Doesn’t Mean Being Boring

I’m a mom who doesn’t drink anymore. Drinking used to work for me. It worked to lessen the anxiety, the fear, and yes, the boredom I felt as a new mother. It also helped me bond with other parents who enjoyed an adult pastime like wine. But now that I don’t drink anymore and a whole lotta moms still do, I have found myself on the outside of the trend a few times.

There was this one awkward situation where I found out I hadn’t been invited to a get together of moms from my daughter’s school. The host of the event called to explain. “The thing is, we’re getting together just to drink margaritas and since I know you don’t drink, I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.” That stung. I mean, we’re fellow moms not sorority sisters, right? Just because I don’t drink doesn’t mean I’m a drag! I still know how to have conversations! I knew the truth was not that they didn’t want me to feel uncomfortable but that they didn’t want to feel uncomfortable which played right into one of my fears about quitting: My sobriety made some people uneasy. I had become the mom I thought of as boring when I was a drinker.

But thankfully, this is the exception rather than the rule. In recovery I have made so many new friends who share my enthusiasm for not drinking. We have an easy companionship, never having to explain. Sobriety bonds us in a way I never thought possible. I feel like a member of a secret society. We laugh a lot.

And then I have my mom friends who were never big drinkers in the first place. I can relax with them now knowing I don’t have to spend my time convincing them to join me in a glass of wine or explain why I’m so eager to pop a cork.

So yes, drinking worked for me but now not drinking is what works for me. Not drinking is what quells my anxiety, keeps me even and in control and gives me the knowledge that I am a great mom and I’m enough. And when it comes to socializing now, I agree with a mom from my online support group who said, “I don’t feel left out, I feel enlightened!” Yeah! I’ll drink to that! Sparkling water okay? Relax!


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