Why Might Stopping Drinking Affect Social Life?

www.nytimes.com/2022/02/10/style/drinking-sober-social-qs.html

The question is posed by a woman who is excluded now. It’s not just drinking but not eating the way others do may also exclude you.

People like to be around others that mirror their choices, was one part of the response. It’s true. It’s not so uncommon when swimming upstream to be ostracized. Get used to it. It’s the price you may have to pay for your prioritizing your own health and well-being.

I would have said to her to check out Alcoholics Anonymous because if you have a desire to stop drinking you are welcome and they have lots of social events. I do not present myself as an AA member but I have attended many meetings because a former psychiatrist suggested it. He knew I did not drink but thought I might still have an issue anyway. So I have since had a chemical dependency evaluation and am not an alcoholic but I still know I need to stay away from alcohol.

It’s a depressant. I struggle with a mood disorder and it takes a Herculean effort to overcome depression. Alcohol is an enemy of my brain chemistry as it destroys serotonin. So that’s that. And I am grateful to have stayed sober from alcohol since 1988. That’s been a huge blessing in my life because I turned to alcohol when I had to leave a really wonderful psychiatrist and went off my medications. It was an unmitigated disaster and I ended up eventually in a treatment program for the mentally ill homeless near Los Angeles.

They required we be in a Big Book study group because they said if you are homeless, you have a substance abuse problem–end of story. I really liked the Big Book of recovery and it’s wisdom has helped keep me away from alcohol because there are stories of those who weren’t alcoholic but in later years did become so. I could be there in a heartbeat and I know it.

Lesson learned–and still ongoing…

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