But say what???

So…what to say when you tell someone you no longer drink. Anyone else struggle with this? I know I do, but it has got a lot better. I’m now 18 months in and it still feels like coming out each time I utter the words ‘I don’t drink’. With each word I speak feeling as loud as a Big Ben bong (the clock yeah?).

Of course it shouldn’t be difficult but it is. When I gave up smoking I was cheered on by anyone I told. When I tell them I don’t drink they look at me as if I’ve just spat on their quiche and pulled my trousers down ( I exaggerate but never let the truth spoil a good story). 

When I first became sober I overshared. I said too much to people who didn’t a) deserve to know or b) give a holy shit. I felt like I was lying if I didn’t go into detail. Why? Because this issue had been inside me for years and I could finally talk about it. It was freeing I suppose. I also knew the drinking problem was in my past. Finally. 

The last couple of months though I have a new approach. If it comes up with a new person I just say ‘I don’t drink’ and you know what people usually don’t ask anything else. It’s as simple as that. That person didn’t know me when I was drinking so why would they question that? 

But some do of course. So then I say to them what I say to people who did know me when I was drinking….. ‘alcohol had started to make me anxious, why would I do that to myself?’. Done. Dusted. Moving on to talk about other things like who the hell realised you could get oil out of a cod’s liver.

Does this mean that I don’t open up about my drinking problem? HELL NO SECOND COUSIN TWICE REMOVED. But I am definitely more picky who I tell. It is my business and mine alone. And I have to gently remind myself that it is not being dishonest to not tell all….all the time. 


  1. Jo Clayton

    I saw your blog on OYNB today and popped onto your site, I love how you write and congratulations on your abstinence – good luck Lee – Jo


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