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.
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.
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.
- What do you mean you’re not drinking?
- Are you pregnant?
- Did you have an accident? (i.e. assuming I’ve hit rock bottom. Giving up booze in their eyes is sacrilege.)
- You can’t give up, when will you drink again?
- Surely it’s just a phase?
- 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.
- You genuinely are pregnant
- You are on antibiotics (if you’re not, you can milk that line anyway for at least two weeks)
- You are driving (recognising you can only play the sober driver card for so long)
- 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.