The Truth About Pretending to Drink When You're Sober

One thing that prevented me from addressing my complicated relationship with alcohol for so long was the fear of social stigma. I was also afraid to fail, but I was more afraid of success. If I quit drinking, then what? Then, actually, what? 

I would no longer fit into my social circles. I risked rejection and losing friendships. I would feel ostracized and excluded. I would be left out, alone, misunderstood, and judged. I would not fit into my 20-year marriage anymore. 

My husband and I met at a bar. We were party people. It’s part of what attracted us to each other. It wasn’t fair to him that I was considering changing the game for us without warning. This wasn’t what he signed up for. I was so ashamed. 

I was scared that I would not fit into my neighborhood, my friend group, my happy hour work crew, or any other group or activity I have ever done or ever wanted to do because I would no longer be drinking. I would lose the nearly four decades of...

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