Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax: Giving up alcohol and expecting criticism

 

Dear Carolyn: I gave up alcohol for Lent for a lot of reasons (save money and calories, etc.), but deep down the reason is that I was afraid I was becoming dependent and wanted to test myself a bit. So far (yes, a few whole days), it is good. I actually feel better not having the wine at night.

Assuming this goes well, I may just cut alcohol completely — having a somewhat addictive personality and a family history of alcoholism and cancer.

But my question is more how to handle the social issues associated with this. It’s easy to say to my friends, “I gave up alcohol for Lent,” and most aren’t giving me a hard time, but what if it’s permanent? Is it enough to say, “I realized when I gave it up that I feel better without it”? And my family is pretty big on drinking (even the non-alcoholics), so I will stand out, and they already feel like I push them away/try to distance myself. Suggestions?

No Alcohol

If it becomes a sore subject with your family, assure them once: “This is about what I need, not about judging anyone else.”

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon Eastern time each Friday at washingtonpost.com.

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