They got a saying, if you’re not drinking then you’re not playing.”
Ah Lana Del Rey and her melancholy lyrics… This particular line struck me from the minute I first heard the song. I was alone driving down a stretch of motorway surrounded by fields and rain clouds in the middle of a 200 mile drive. It summed up exactly how I have felt about my social life since I stopped drinking.
In the west of Scotland drinking is the norm, and for the most part it is heavy binge drinking that is viewed as being “social”. That is just what everyone my age does around here and being sober has a tendency to make people uncomfortable around you. It’s ‘weird’, it’s ‘different’, it’s ‘wrong’, “Why on earth would you choose not to drink?” Before I stopped drinking I was the girl that was always the centre of the party, the one who was up for anything and didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought (that was the way everyone else perceived it at least…) But I was also the girl who was deeply ashamed of the poor choices she consistently made, disgusted at plenty of the things she had done and on the inside was hiding this feeling of complete and utter loneliness, desperately doing anything to be accepted.
I have heard many times and from many different people, some of whom I had considered good friends, that I am not as much fun now that I am sober. Let me tell you something, no matter how many times you hear that sentence it hurts just as much as the first, like a knife twisting deep in my gut. Does noone like the ‘real me?’ am I only deemed worthy of socialising with when I am high on booze and low on morals..?
I haven’t had a drink for 2 years, and one day at a time I hope to continue that for as long as I can.
Alcohol isn’t my problem right now, reality is.