No Booze For Me Anymore, But Please Pass The Diet Coke

No Booze For Me Anymore, But Please Pass The Diet Coke

January 29, 2017 Updated February 8, 2017

Woman Diet Coke
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Obligatory black yoga pants, check. Hair color with an intentionally dark root so that you don’t always notice the regrowth, check. A house full of sticky and screaming children, check. Mommy’s special juice in her favorite wine glass…hmm…something’s missing.

I don’t drink. Not a drop. Not a sip. Not ever. I realize that sounds crazy to a lot of people. And before you judge me because you think that I am on some holier than thou power trip, trust me, I’m not. I have no interest in completely abolishing alcohol in an effort to take the world back to the days of prohibition. Put simply, alcohol and I just don’t mix.

There was a time in my 20s when I drank a lot and was probably a lot of fun. I don’t remember much of that, though. I drank for hours on end, smoked enough cigarettes to give several people cancer, and swiped my credit card round after round, tipping generously without a care. I spent many weekend days so hungover that I could barely get out of bed, but would gladly have a little hair of the dog and do it all over again.

There was even a night when my mother found me passed out in the basement and matter-of-factly announced, “Well, she has finally done it. Your sister drank herself to death!” Not dead at all, I awoke and proceeded to eat the cheeseburger that I dropped on my chest when I passed out. Kind of funny, but really, it’s sad. I was spiraling out of control, quickly.

I wasn’t addicted to alcohol. I never woke up with the urge to drink. I didn’t need to have booze to function. I just drank too much. One beer turned into two, which turned into six and a buzz that I really enjoyed. I am not downplaying alcoholism or the seriousness of addiction. It exists and is the cause of unbelievable heartache for so many. For me, binge-drinking was a habit, that had I not quit, I am sure would have become a deadly addiction.

Thankfully, my story doesn’t end with me getting arrested, or killing an innocent family while driving under the influence, or even falling down a flight of stairs and breaking bones — all things that I would have totally deserved for the careless way that I acted.

Instead, I got pregnant and never touched a cocktail or cigarette again. Like many women, those two pink lines meant cutting off my vices for the remainder of my pregnancy. I had every intention of picking it all right back up once the baby was born, except that I never did.

At first, the reason I didn’t drink was because I really didn’t want to smoke, two things that went hand in hand. But the longer I went without alcohol, the more I realized that I was better off without it. I was a better wife and mother and friend. There were no hangovers, there was no extra weight from too many beers and stops at fast food hotspots, my skin looked better and I felt better. I am seven and a half years sober and happy. I am happy without alcohol.

My choices are certainly not the same as most people my age, but they work for me. I still go to happy hour, but now I have a Diet Coke. I no longer have to explain that, “No, I am not pregnant — again!” I don’t care if people drink around me. I cast no aspersions on their behavior. If they can wake up and make it through the day without feeling like hell, God bless them. I cannot. My friends know that this is who I am. And no longer do they have to ask themselves, “God! She must be drunk, or is she just crazy?” Now, they know.