Why & How I Don’t Drink

The only thing more remarkable to me than having to explain why I don’t drink alcohol is having folks incredulously ask me how I manage not to? Socially it’s not just celebrated, it’s expected. The short answer is that the more secure I am within myself, the less I do things I don’t truly want to do.

I find most people boring. That sounds ridiculously elitist, but it’s the truth. Incredibly, if you add a few drinks to the average adult, they become far more interesting and infinitely more fun. This makes me a little bit sad for them, but it doesn’t make me to want to know them.

Most of the very best people I know are recovering alcoholics and addicts. They tell me alcohol (and other drugs) took everything away from them. I get that. I was fortunate enough to experience and accept that possibility before it became a problem in my life.

Wait. As I write this, it dawns on me that’s not true. The binge drinking of my adolescence always created problems. I was just lucky that it didn’t cost me very much.

Alcohol always dulled my intelligence and took away my wit. It made my memory difficult to access and it threw me off balance both physically and emotionally. It’s simple; I consistently have better times drinking iced tea than I ever did drinking beer.

I don’t care that people drink, so it’s very odd to me that they care that I don’t. It seems foreign to them that I readily let my hair down without it. I don’t need something to take away my inhibitions The only ones I have left are the ones I want to keep. If I’m holding back, it’s to avoid embarrassing someone I love.

People who don’t understand addiction and recovery are strangely somber when I tell them what I do for a living. They say things like, “That must be very hard.” I tell them I laugh a lot because I work with people who are not only hysterically funny, but also incredibly real. They’re consciously seeking what most people are wandering around hoping to find – a better life.

Alcohol and drugs make things less real to me. I crave authenticity. I seek connection, to live passionately and I expect continued growth. Alcohol just made those things unattainable for me. Maybe you’re one of those people who can do moderation. If so I wish you nothing but the best. If you’re like me, I offer you this adage:

Even if you’re not an alcoholic, you still don’t have to drink.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.