I Don't Drink and That's OKAY!

by Carlee Hulsizer

Hey friends, Carlee here. I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been doing some reflecting on the summertime and summer holidays. It seems like drinking plays a huge role in the celebration of summer. I understand that those without a substance use disorder can partake in that sort of thing, but why is it that I always get questioned and harassed about why I’ve decided not to drink alcohol?

Sometimes I find that being a young person in recovery can be challenging. As a 23-year-old, I constantly see others my age drinking alcohol. Because I am someone with a substance use disorder and alcohol was a huge problem for me, I chose not to drink. This always make me feel like an outcast. I feel like I’m being judged for my decision.

I’ve talked to others in recovery and I’m not the only one who feels this way. Many of my friends have also been questioned by people on why they don’t drink. What I’ve learned from talking with them is that I have nothing to be ashamed about. When someone asks me why I don’t drink, I tell them that it’s because I’m in recovery. I don’t have to feel like a loser or someone who doesn’t fit in. I must remember that I have a community that welcomes me and loves me. While other people might not understand what recovery is or why I chose to stay away from alcohol, my recovery family does. I never have to feel alone or ashamed about being an individual in recovery.