Abstinence was my choice. I embarked upon this experiment to test some theories and see where I can go with it. Even though it wasn’t a serious commitment, I have been disciplined. Before I say anything else, I will make a few things clear, nobody pushed me into this, I have no problems with alcohol, and most importantly, if I am honest, not drinking is a struggle.
I have a healthy social life and I love going out and having a good time. And given the fact that I have a lot of friends and acquaintances, hanging out means a constant party. We all love to eat and everyone drinks. Everyone, except for me, only recently. When I made the choice to stop drinking altogether, I thought to myself, ‘Zain, how hard can this be?’ The answer is very hard. Imagine you are at a table and everyone is enjoying their food and their wine and you are there in the middle with your cheese and a glass of water. Not a good combo now, is it? This is still fine, if not awkward. But, now swap the quite dinner table for an uptown pub with amazing food, good music, party clothes and a beautiful bar. What would you do now? Ask the bar keep for dirty martinis or a glass of water? Guess you get the picture now.
You may ask me why water? Why not a mocktail or any other thing with atleast some color in it, if not flavor. And, I would say, because why not! Part of my struggle in a party scene comes from the fact I am having a colorless, odorless drink. Seriously. I can bet you half the people won’t even notice that I am not having alcohol if my glass showed even the slightest bit of tint. Weird, yet true.
And just because I am me, I purposely ask for water, just to mess with them. The thing is, most people are not concerned about the fact that you are not getting drunk or having a good time. They are concerned that you are in your senses having fun, while they are too hammered to notice that you are noticing everything. Being emotionally vulnerable scares people, even more than being naked does.
The thing is my struggle does not come from my inability to resist alcohol. My struggle lies in tackling people from coaxing me into having ‘just one drink’. And that is why I always ask for water at a bar. Part of me seriously likes to taunt them and the other part aims at strengthening my discipline at play.
In the end, struggles are never-ending, so giving up or giving in is not an option.
(Originally Published on The Zainab Experiment: https://bit.ly/2KSFB07)