Posted by: rundadrun | March 10, 2011

Really, I don’t drink! Part 1

I find it funny when people are amazed that I am able to live my life without the “benefit” of adult beverages.  In my line of work, it seems that alcohol is usually a part of dinner meetings and social gatherings.  It is not unusual for me to be the only person at a business dinner who is drinking ice tea that isn’t named after a beach somewhere.  I don’t want to make it sound like I am surrounded by lushes, but alcohol seems to be the common denominator in a lot of social networking situations.  That being said, I don’t feel deprived or less than of a grown up because of a lack of libation.

There are many reasons for my teetotaling ways.  This is not to say that I have always been the best at sticking to my guns when it comes to avoiding alcohol.  But even when I was not as strong as I would liked to have been, I knew that it went against everything I believe.  So, I try not to judge others too harshly when they don’t feel the same as I do.  The funny thing is, I am usually not afforded the same understanding by my co-workers and business associates when they realize that I don’t drink.

Recently I had to spend most of the day entertaining some customers.  This meant a morning and afternoon filled with golf and an evening of fine dining.  I was fine with that.  I enjoy a good game of golf (or a bad game of golf) as much as the next guy. And I really enjoy a great steak.  It also meant that my higher-ups were buying my customers an amazing amount of alcohol throughout the day.  I spent the entire day and evening making sure that nobody was being over-served and drinking my water, ice tea and Gatorade.  I cannot begin to tell you how many times I had to explain to one customer after another that there was nothing wrong, I really was happy to not be drinking.  It was amazing to me that you can give up carbs, fats, smoking, caffeine or any number of other things and people will encourage you and wish you luck.  But if you don’t drink, you had better have a reason.  I had plenty of reasons…my faith, my belief that my body is a temple, my not wanting to be a bad influence to my kids, my little brother slowing killing himself with his drinking.  And I used every one of these as the day wore on.  But I still got the same response.  ” You mean you don’t drink at all?”  Yes, that is what I mean. I really don’t drink.  And yet somehow I find a way to make it through each day!  🙂 

Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to feel like a total outcast for making  a choice to live a better life?  And I don’t mean by choosing to follow some crazy diet that involves only drinking grass juice or eating only vegetable of the same color grown on the east facing hills of a local commune.  A simple thing like choosing to avoid drinking something that has been proven to be terrible for you. 

I have seen the terrible results of alcohol abuse.  Now I add to my reasons for not drinking that I have recently seen my younger brother literally drink himself to death.  I have no desire to allow alcohol to ruin my life.

Can you imagine a world where those who choose to drink would be the ones who had to do all the explaining?  I am not asking everyone to quit drinking and bring back prohibition.  I am just asking that I be allowed to live a healthy, alcohol free life and not be treated like a freak of nature.  And really, I feel fine. 🙂

 Happy(and sober) running,

Rundad

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Responses

  1. I don’t drink much myself, can’t handle the hangovers… Seem to get worse as you get older… Great write!

    cheers

  2. I am with you. I have to say that I have been treated differently in my relationship with the community as a teacher because I didn’t go down to the bar after the games. It used to be the opposite a not too long ago in this country. If you drank and were a teacher you had better do it in private or your job was at steak.

    • I agree Matt. I can remember those days as well. Thanks for dropping by my friend!

  3. Good Job Rob! 🙂 I SO agree with you. You shouldn’t have to defend your choice NOT to drink. They just can’t understand how happy you are and can be without the stuff. They think you are just lying so many times. But I think we are letting Christ show in our lives by standing up for our beliefs.

  4. Thanks Charla. I do see it as an opportunity to shine my light. I think it is sad that they cannot understand how I can be happy to NOT have alcohol in my life.

  5. Yes, definitely no defense should be necessary. Do you also find you are asked to explain your commitment to fitness too? It seems like the more dedicated a person is to something, the more eager others are to label it “obsessive”.

  6. Stacey,
    I am so used to defending my fitness commitment that it hardly registers anymore when I tell someone, :no, my knees are fine and I have never frozen a lung”. 🙂 Most of my friends and people I run into just realize that the conversation will eventually turn to running. 🙂 Tahnks for the comment.

  7. Thanks for addressing this topic! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets the weird looks and questions in those situations!

    • You are not alone Anna. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Rob…I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage since I was 22 years old (25 years ago). I don’t think I have missed a thing. I would rather be filled with the Spirit than with spirits…that’s just me. 🙂 Blessings…Don

    • Amen Don! Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  9. I suppose I’m fortunate; I couldn’t relate to this post. I don’t drink, I’m often in environments where drinking is the norm, and I can’t remember when I’ve been asked about it. There have many many times I was the only one at the table not drinking and no one bats and eye.
    On the other hand, I find myself CONSTANTLY explaining why I don’t eat sugar. I’ve lost 94 pounds (and counting) and you’d think those who knew me when I was much larger would instinctively know why I don’t eat it, but folks just seem mystified.

  10. Amazing weight loss story Pam! Thanks for the comment and keep it up!


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