from my inbox:
TM: “I’ve been a ‘non-drinker’ for 3 years now, and even though I got through those terribly awkward first few months (with only one slip!) it’s still reassuring to read of others’ experiences. Living in NY, I’m inundated with 12-step propaganda, and, sadly, I don’t know a soul who has just stopped drinking without being involved in the program. This can be profoundly isolating, and I find that most folks in the program tend to be dismissive and a bit condescending about any alternative to their solution.
So thank you for sharing your experiences and helping me to feel not-quite-so-alone in this. At times it feels like everyone in the world drinks, and drinkers share a bond that is really difficult to describe. The hardest thing about being a non-drinker, at least for me, is being surrounded by drinking conversations/activities/socializing, and feeling like an outsider. I’m slowly just coming to terms with the fact that this is just how it’s going to be for the rest of my life, and hopefully, somehow, I’ll meet more people who can socialize without booze.
Anyways, sorry for the blathering here, and thanks for the great writings! ~ TM”
me: i totally feel for TM and i’m sure his experience isn’t unique. do you feel like an outsider as a sober person? You know, it’s funny but this hasn’t been my experience. maybe because i’m an extrovert anyway. and i’m often the host of events where no one notices my non-drinking-ness because they’re too worried about themselves. But TM’s experience isn’t unique and I know that there are others who can relate to him. What do you think? As a sober individual, are you ‘on the outside’, are you ‘on the inside holding your glass of tonic’ or are you in the group (like me) of ‘no one notices if i drink or not’…