Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of giving up drinking is the part where we “come out” to our friends and family. While this isn’t a big deal for everyone, it’s a real fear for some. Find out the 3 different methods Annie used when she was faced with this same circumstance.

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Coming Out

I came out three different ways depending on who it was. With my family I sent everybody this overly excited e-mail, and the shock factor is totally enjoyable for me. I may be unique in that, but the fact that I had been such a heavy drinker for so long, sending an e-mail that was just hilarious. It was like, “I’m never drinking again, and that’s my decision.” It was just hilarious and over the top, and way overly excited.

Euphoric

I had this literal sense of euphoria, and just almost ecstasy when I quit drinking. It was the feeling that I never have to drink again. I never have to be hungover, I never have to make a bad decision, I never have to worry about what I said the night before. I felt so much freedom like I had just been unchained, like I had been awoken from this just weird daze of, “What was I doing, and why, and I don’t have to do that.”

Gradual

Now, it took me a while to get there. I had to go through all the liminal points, I had to do all the research, completely re-shift my brain to where I saw alcohol in it’s naked light. Where I saw it like, “Why would I put that in my body?” So the feeling for me was just completely euphoric. I sent this overly excited e-mail to my family coming out and that was mainly because I didn’t feel like I owed them any explanation, and they’d be happy for me, so they wouldn’t feel judged.

Friends

My friends are a little bit of a different story. The next time I see them I’d be like, “Hey, yeah …” If they offered me a drink I’d be like, “I stopped drinking.” The usual reaction I got was, “Well, I didn’t think you had a problem.” That was generally from people who were drinking just as much as I did, and it was, “Wait, does that mean I have a problem?” So, it became a pretty quickly defensive conversation.

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All About Me

This is a personal choice that we’re making for us and our lives, but the effect of the choice is that you’ve pretty much said like, “I’m holding myself to a different standard all of a sudden. I’m not going to put that in my body anymore. Not going to let that risk my health anymore. I’m not going to get sloppy anymore. I’m not going to be hungover anymore.” You’ve put yourself on this different standard, and people can’t help feeling judged. It’s probably one of the most difficult parts, because I’m just a people person. I’m really inclusive, and I will bend over backwards not to have somebody feel badly or judged. So, to have my actions having them feel uncomfortable about their own actions was really difficult for me, and so it took a lot of getting used to.

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Tune in to hear where I got the most shocking reaction coming out as a non-drinker.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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