I Stopped Drinking and It’s Hard for Some To Understand Why
Let me start by saying, I am not an alcoholic (lol) most of the time when someone says “I don’t drink anymore” others assume they’re recovering alcoholics - sorry to disappoint, but that is not my reason why. I will say this, it is very strange to openly talk about the fact that I stopped drinking, because that would be admitting I did drink. In my culture (and with a strict Muslim father like mine) you-do-not-drink—period. But yes, I have enjoyed my fair share of alcoholic drinks. My husband and I bonded over Eminem and Jack Daniels in high school. With that said, me and my party days have all pretty much parted ways a while ago. If that sounds familiar its because it’s Eminem’s lyrics. After college, I definitely loved to enjoy the occasional glass of wine, especially in a profession like mine where architects drink wine like water.
Its been a little over a year, and trust me I’ve heard it all.
Are you pregnant?
Is it a religious thing?
Why, were you a heavy drinker?
Oh, is it because you’re driving?
Which I understand since, someone who chooses not to drink is something of a curiosity. Plus I was usually the number one person to suggest a wine night. The simple answer I give is, I just don't want to drink. The real reason? I promised my mom I wouldn’t, but I can’t say that without it getting pretty awkward at a fun social happy hour.
I hid the fact that I drink from my dad, but I never hid it from my mom. She was my best friend and like I’m being open now, I was an open book with her. My mom wasn’t a drinker, but that didn’t matter, because when she got sick her liver and kidneys started failing. She used to say we think eating the way we do and drinking the way we do doesn’t matter, because we’ll go to the gym and get over our hangover in the morning. To my mom, health was the number one thing we should care for, so I decided to stop drinking. Not out of fear that I’ll be damned or even for my health honestly. I stopped because she loved me so much, and the last thing I promised her was that I would stop. She just wanted to protect me, so how could I not continue honoring that promise.
Do I miss it? I guess, I miss the fun social setting. It was a little strange to talk at a happy hour without a glass in my hand. Actually it felt like others thought it was strange, so I started holding a glass of water. It doesn’t bother me when I’m around it, I don’t judge those who drink and those who don’t. It just feels normal now. It’s been a little over a year and so far nothing has proven worth breaking my promise. I hope nothing ever will.