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I was raised by a single mother who never really drank. She used to keep a cask of St Tropez white wine in the fridge, but I don’t really ever recall seeing her drinking or even drunk. Even when everyone was around for drinks and a party, she’d be the only sober parent and she’d always say; you don’t need to be drunk to have fun.

My father was a very heavy drinker. My parents were separated from when I was 5 so I was very rarely exposed to it, and when he drank, it was the only time he ever was openly affectionate and loving. Drinking essentially was never really a part of my life.

It’s okay to say “No”.

Even when it came to being exposed as a teenager to drugs, it had always just been drummed into me that I didn’t have to be a sheep. I didn’t ever have to do anything that I didn’t want to. I just always did things when I felt it was right and I remember even as a teen saying no to drugs and that I wouldn’t cave to peer pressure.

Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at 15 didn’t really give me many opportunities to go into my adult years living like other teens. Not only had I never been raised to be that into drinking, but I was so sick that I was barely existing outside of my bed or toilet!

I’m very grateful now as an adult, for those lessons. I’m still very unique around all of my friends and 99.9% of the time, it’s just a given that I will be the sober driver…

Weighing the risks

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a drink but to be honest, it’s very rarely and like always, there are so many different consequences for making that choice!

I have the next day… I have 2 kids. They don’t care if mama is tired and sore and needs silence. They want to scream, and I’m pretty sure they up the volume when they know I need it knocked down a few decibels. Then there is the pain.

The other day after a horridly stressful day I thought, hey, others say that a drink helps them to calm down after a shitty day so I might try this… I had a cider. No issue. It was delicious. Then I thought, cool, I’m having another one! Then…. 2 mouthfuls in and I’m in agony. OMG the pain.

I am currently in remission, so it’s not the disease that is ripping up my insides. I can only assume that my body has gone without alcohol for so long that there’s just no build-up of tolerance and potentially, the preservatives have reacted? Either way, it was a disaster that ended up wasting a perfectly good cider.

Knowing the limits

I guess we need to know our limits and apparently my mind and my body have 2 separate ideas of what that is.

I hope that I also raise my kiddies with the same mentality regardless of their health status in the future.

Either way, I’ve always weighed up the risks when doing things like this. Do I suffer for the cause?! Even when my disease was in full swing, I had to be prepared for the suffering. These days the suffering isn’t worth it. I can easily make a fool out of my self sober 😛

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    2 months ago

    I always thought that alcohol would help my stomach, which was true in the short term, but definitely not in the long term!

    Years ago when I was still suffering from active disease, I would fill a coffee cup with vodka and club soda and drink it like it were coffee in the morning before going to the beach because without “numbing” my stomach, I couldn’t make it the full day without returning to the bathroom to go to the bathroom (actually, I couldn’t make it less than an hour without going!) but then would suffer the rest of the week after doing this all weekend. It was definitely a vicious cycle!

    –Julie (Team Member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    Agreed. Sometimes it’s just not worth the pain afterwards, so I mostly chose to just be the sober one in social situations. I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t mind. Fun is still possible sober! 🙂

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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