Behind the scenes of NoWineImFine

Today I’m laying out what’s behind the name NoWineI’mFine as a two-minute read. In doing so, I’m hoping to help you prepare for society’s reactions when they learn you are newly alcohol-free.

Loving wine

At the risk of stating the obvious, one of the first things a newbie blogger needs to sort out is a name. Sounds easy! And perhaps it is for others. But wow did I struggle. I wanted a title that was snappy, cute and clear. Wine was my non negotiable poison of choice, so it seemed appropriate to get that in somehow.

Being fine

I also wanted the name to reflect one of the biggest challenges I face throughout my sobriety journey: society’s reactions. The challenges refer to the ongoing interrogations, confusion, dismissal (‘it’s just a phase’) and judgements that I copped as a newly sober person in a heavy drinking society. If I only had a dollar for every time I’ve had to say ‘I’m fine’ to the incessant offers of booze despite people knowing I’m not drinking, I’d be a very well off person.

Hence the title No Wine, I’m Fine was coined.

Quick side note: let’s not forget my wonderfully supportive friends and family out there. I am very grateful for their support. But they’re the easy ones to interact with; today’s blog is to help you interact with the ones who are not. Sadly, I continue to encounter quite a few!

The early days: introducing ‘the sober me’.

It’s been almost three months since I said farewell to my old love, wine. Three months! But the aforementioned interrogations continue…. and often from the SAME PEOPLE. Seriously?!? Get over it!

For your amusement but also for when the time comes, here are the one-liners that make me cringe the most.  I’d encourage you to rehearse responses to these before you go to social gatherings, so you’re ready.

  1. What do you mean you’re not drinking?
  2. Are you pregnant?
  3. Did you have an accident? (i.e. assuming I’ve hit rock bottom. Giving up booze in their eyes is sacrilege.)
  4. You can’t give up, when will you drink again?
  5. Surely it’s just a phase?
  6. But what about [insert trivial upcoming party/pissup/holiday here]?

But my all time favourite below was just the prompt I needed for my upcoming sober Vegas challenge. This takes the cake.

You can’t go to Vegas and not drink. You will be sooooo boring’. 

BOOM!!! That got my heckles up BIG TIME!!!! That’s it, I’ll show you, you f*ckers!!!! 

Some rehearsed responses for your toolkit.

I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t rehearsed responses for these inquisitions, I would have cracked under pressure. Depending on the your circumstances, the following seems to be the few socially acceptable reasons for not drinking. 

  1. You genuinely are pregnant
  2. You are on antibiotics (if you’re not, you can milk that line anyway for at least two weeks)
  3. You are driving (recognising you can only play the sober driver card for so long)
  4. You have to _______ with the kids (obviously only works if you have kids).

I knew these reasons would tide me over but eventually my cover would be blown. So, I constructed the following response and it works a treat.

Oh yea, not drinking at the moment, doing a 90-day health programme with a coach. She’s like my accountability partner, we have goals and stuff, so there’s no point wasting money doing this if I don’t do it properly’.

After the first, second, third social gathering, continue to have your rehearsed responses ready! All of the perspectives 1-6 above will still get raised months on. *sigh!!!* Oh well, at least you have a light and leisurely response that no-one can argue with. Hence the follow up line when they offer you alcohol anyway: ‘No thanks, I’m fine.’ If the interrogator has already got a few drinks under their belt, be prepared to repeat yourself at least three more times. ‘I’m fine. I’m fine. I’mmmm fiiiiiiiiiine’. *grit teeth and smile*

Be fine with no wine

To wrap this up, you WILL get drilled for not drinking by your drinking (and non-drinking!) friends and family when you quit. But if you rehearse for their inquisitions, you can escape relatively unscathed, with dignity and grace. At the end of the day, it’s YOUR decision, YOUR body and YOUR journey. We should not be obligated to justify our personal journey of sobriety to anyone. Yet society somehow  doesn’t get it.

I hope this helps, please ask me questions in the comments below if you would like to know more. In the meantime, be strong, be committed and most importantly, BE YOU.

Thank you for reading. 

Wellington harbour, taken during my walk to walk one morning in 2017

12 thoughts on “Behind the scenes of NoWineImFine

  1. Hi. I found your blog yesterday. I think I have read every last bit of it by now. I too thought I could never give up alcohol, and everything would be boring without it. However I find the hardest part is explaining myself to other people. I live in Ireland and we also have a ridiculous drinking culture. I have been asked all the questions you have mentioned above too, and made to feel like I am letting people down by not drinking with them!!! but I am learning loads and gaining strength from you. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morning Mairead,
      Your message took me back to exactly how I was feeling earlier this year. We are sober sisters from opposite sides of the globe! Isn’t it sad, society these days hounds us about quitting drinking.
      I have not visited your beautiful country (yet!) but from what I’ve heard, the heavy drinking culture sounds a lot like New Zealand’s.
      Never feel you are letting others down – I believe people like drinkers to remain drinkers so they never have to question their own drinking. That’s been my experience.
      This is a life decision that requires us to be selfish(eg saying no to the ongoing drink offers), be true to ourselves.
      I’m delighted this blog may, in some small way, given you some ideas. Please know I’m always here if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to write about, I’d love to hear how you’re going.
      Lots of love and alcoholfree hugs πŸ™‹πŸ½πŸ¦‹β€οΈπŸ”†πŸŒ΄

      Like

  2. Love this. I too believe that being prepared with come backs or responses helps ahead of time. I’m having a difficult time with the amount of times I’ve shared that I’m no longer drinking and have had long stretches where I’ve had some good sobriety, but the closest ones too me, OH, siblings, children, friends think it’s just a phase and continue to ask me if I am “still not drinking”.. I suppose I shouldn’t care so much, but I’m highly sensitive and always feel their discomfort with me not drinking and that makes it worse for me.. Isn’t that crazy!! Codependent Addict/Alcoholic.. Day 2 again.. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Denise, thanks for your message. Isn’t it sad how tough people make it for us?!? Imagine if someone told us they were quitting smoking, doing on a diet or trying anything else to improve their health and wellbeing. And we replied with ‘it’s just a phase’ or ‘ you won’t last’ or other dismissive comments. How rude would that be! But somehow people think it’s ok to make these kinds of comments when we quit drinking.
      It’s hurtful and unhelpful. I understand -it upset me too.
      Day 2. Here’s to the new us. I look forward to staying in touch πŸ’™πŸŒ·πŸ”†πŸŒ΄

      Like

  3. Pingback: Alcoholfree living: taking time out for yourself is OK. | No Wine I'm Fine

  4. Pingback: How I’m keeping alcoholfree: 4 months already! | No Wine I'm Fine

  5. I find that explaining why I’m not drinking does cause the most pressure..,so funny because I’m not the type to succum to peer pressure. I too however love wine and find it to be the hardest to give up (I’m almost 3 months) I was actually relieved recently because I can’t attend a girls Old drinking buddy weekend that’s coming up due to a conflict….I love these girls but I feel like they will think I’m putting a damper on their time. Have to get over this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sheila
      Congratulations on reaching the three month mark! That’s wonderful news. Our soberversary dates must be very close.
      I get what you mean about flagging the girls weekend – it’s a boozy weekend and drinking all weekend just not our thing anymore.
      We’ll get there, we can do this.
      Love and sober hugs πŸŒ΄πŸ¦‹πŸŒπŸ’™

      Like

  6. I LOVE the name of your website! Congratulations on your sobriety – it’s so true how difficult it seems for others to accept we’re not drinking. Love your response, and I look forward to reading more of your work! Thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚ -also a former lover of wine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Megan
      Thank you for your feedback, you are very kind. Interestingly, it seems to be the biggest drinkers that have the biggest issues with men not drinking. I guess it’s holding up a mirror in some respects, they want us to continue drinking so they don’t need to address theirs. One day if they wish to join us on our sober journeys, the door is always open.
      Thanks again, wishing you a wonderful (wine-free!!!) weekend xoxo

      Like

  7. I love this & want to do it, too!! Thank you for writing this and for your bravery!! I’ve tried a couple times but don’t stick with it, alot has to do with friends responses or occasions! I REALLY NEED TO be fine WITHOUT wine, too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Shannon,
      your lovely message has made my day! Thank you 😊
      I’m confident you can do this, it’s disappointing society makes it so hard.
      I will be sharing more tips to help you be successful over the comming weeks; feel free to cherry pick the bits that resonate with you.
      I’d love to hear how you get on, please stay in touch. Sending virtual sober hugs and strength ✨✨✨

      Like

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