Updated: Aug 5
I’ll be the first to admit that I have sober shamed in the past! I’ve considered non-drinking friends boring. I’ve been desperate for them to understand that fun comes in the shape of a full champagne flute or a chilled Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Someone said: “We don’t drink to have fun, we drink to tolerate activities that would otherwise be boring”. We’ve tolerated a lot of activities "thanks to" alcohol. And when it’s out of the picture, we’re no longer able to numb, gather courage sip by sip and escape the…well, boredom that comes with certain activities.
During my first 3 months of sobriety, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to over-compensate for my no longer drinking. Petrified that I’d be perceived as boring, I’d make an effort to always be in the middle of the conversation or the middle of the dance floor. I’d be where the fun was. I’d want to leave the party, then glance at my watch and decide that it was too early. That people would judge me. That they’d think “I knew it. She quit drinking and now she’s boring”.
But, I was being untrue to myself. So, as time went by and I became more confident in my sobriety, I allowed myself to be boring.
Now, I’ll follow my tipsy friends to the peak of inebriation and observe, amused from the side line. I’ll start working on an exit plan that involves a cup of tea and going to bed early, then I’ll gently let go of their hands and send them off into the night where the effects of alcohol will keep them going - until they crash. I’ll take a step back. Retrieve, and embrace the Joy of Missing Out.
But, really, there is no “me and them”. We’re one. I can relate. I’ve been there and I’m no better because I go to bed early! But, because of the glorification of alcohol as a magic potion that makes us more fun, being boring (and sometimes bored) is a consequence of sober life. And one I’m happy to accept.
More about sober shaming and how to be confident in your sobriety: