Dawn gave up drinking on 27th November 2016. After having a sober Christmas, New Year and smashing Dry January, she started writing a blog to chart her year of sobriety. Here are some of her sober musings about how to deal with the feeling of being the odd one out.
It’s scary, being the odd one out. The one who has a different perspectives. The one who dares to be different. It’s primal instinct to want to live as part of a pack, not be the leader of one. This means identifying with and having the same characteristics as the people that surround us. But in the modern world where it’s better to stand out, why do we still all strive to be the same? And wouldn’t life be boring if we were?
However, being consciously, deliberately different is hard. We don’t like feeling isolated, so we are made to believe that unusual is bad. Being a leader means making yourself vulnerable, so from an early age, we follow the crowd. It’s easier, less hassle. It’s how crazes start. It’s how addictions start.
Most people don’t really remember their first drink or the actual first time they were drunk. At a young age, drinking isn’t something you do because you like the feeling, but because ‘it’s what everyone else does’.
It’s a brave decision to venture out on your own. Most people admire you for having the strength to do it but some can be negative, usually because they don’t have the strength themselves. People are curious, inquisitive as to whether it might be a better decision to leave the herd. That’s why, when you give up drinking, people are often fascinated to hear your story. Some people have been waiting forever for you to make the break so that they can come with you, and ultimately won’t be alone.
There’s strength in numbers, it’s true. But you seriously don’t know how many others feel the same as you unless you have the strength to break free, to be who you truly want to be.
So be the game changer. Be the leader of the pack rather than the lost sheep at the back. What have you got to lose? A few unsupportive friends? An expensive habit? Nights you barely remember anyway?
In fact, you only have everything to gain. New friends who are inspired by you and want to be in your gang. Your health, your wealth, your sanity.
Be the leader of the pack. It will be the best thing you ever did. Fact.