It was several years into my recovery from alcoholism before I could resist the very strong urge to give an explanation for my refusal to those who offered me a drink in social settings. Chalk it up to being self conscious, paranoid, and the skewed alcoholic mental channels my brain operates on but rarely could I just say “no thank you” to a beer or cocktail. I would either launch into my life story or concoct a careful-to-be-truthful but totally misleading scenario that I hoped would deflect interest from my non-imbibing behavior.
Obviously I was overstating the importance of my not drinking would have on the fate of the world.
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Now, well into my second decade of recovery I will rarely give more than a simple negative but courteous reply to the offer of an adult beverage. These days I know if I am forced to explain my decision to decline or get repeatedly asked to drink that obviously I need to change my environment.
This issue has been brought up several times by others in recovery and I thought I should reinforce it here: There is no shame in recovery, in fact it should be something empowering and a source of pride. No excuses are necessary to turn down drugs or alcohol. It is our disease that makes us obsess over this issue and it is usually the disease of others that so pushes them to urge us to participate in their destructive behavior.