• Austin Cooper - Sober Evolution

No Thanks, I don't Drink.

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

I came across an image on Instagram a while back, the one I have included on this blog post. All it says is, "No thanks, I don't drink" but it hit me in the face like a ton of soft and bubbly bricks. I can't remember who created it or where I found the image, but I do remember just thinking, "Wow, now that's powerful!".

To the average person it may not seem like much, or maybe it just seems like an odd thing considering our society normalizes the drug called alcohol, but to me it's a statement.

Even as someone in recovery myself, the notion that someone doesn't drink pop's up a lot of questions in my mind. Are they in recovery too? Is it for religious reasons? Do they have an allergy to alcohol, like an allergy where they break out in hives or something? Is it for lent? Wait is lent still going on?

Either way, I am always amazed when I hear it. The person making that statement is choosing to go against the grain for whatever reason. They aren't looking to give an explanation. They are simply stating that they do not drink, thanks for the offer though, then going about their day.

In my own experience, it felt weird to say at first. My own insecurities blossomed and I feverishly wondered what the hell the other person thought about my statement. But what I found interesting after the first time I said it, the person I was saying it to said, "ok, cool" and walked away.

I have continued saying it over the years and 99% of the time, they just leave it at that and don't offer me anymore alcohol. A few times people have used that as a conversation starter, they are genuinely interested as to why I don't drink and after telling them why, they show me with respect and who knows, it may have sparked some sort of inspiration in that they too can overcome their urges or addictions.

Now with that said, I have had a couple of people react as being shocked. This for the most part was in my early recovery and by those who I knew growing up and who didn't realize that I had gone to rehab. Most of those people were just surprised due to the fact that I was quite the party animal and that's how they knew me for years. So yes, seeing someone you knew as being Mr. Animal House say no thanks to a drink might come as quite the shock.

Normally those people would ask me more and I would gladly explain everything due to the fact that they were my friends. Occasionally though, I would get some push back and they would continue trying to get me to drink. That's when I had to put my foot down and either set them straight or simply remove them from my life completely.

I think the most important thing when confronted with the option of alcohol vs no alcohol is to understand that YOU are powerful simply because you are saying no to something you were addicted to for so long.

Whether you get some push back or not, you are the one with the power in that moment. You set your boundaries loud and clear only with kindness preceding it.

"No thanks, I don't drink" is a power only you can hold day in and day out. You can say it to yourself just as much if not more than you say it to others. When that urge creeps up on one side of your mind, use the other side to simply say, "No thanks, I don't drink" and leave it at that.

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