New Puritan or New Goddess?

I have been hearing across the social media networks, that we non-drinkers are somehow the New Puritans. That title suggests to me that we have a rather holier than thou attitude. As if we are in some way superior and a bit boring.  Religious nuts, who are either health freaks or incredibly dull.

It’s true that we don’t get roaring drunk anymore or even giddy with the assistance of alcohol. We are giddy enough without it.  It’s also true that we are sharp, savvy and on time, with a straight forward perspective of how life is. We don’t pull sickies nor do we have lost days or weekends. There is no blackout, no embarrassing and shameful covering up to deal with, there is no waking up in strange places with a mouth that feels like the inside of Ghandi’s flip flop.  Women who get their control and lives back have a bucket list which is longer than most because we have a lot of catching up to do and are simply excited.

Do any of us become puritanical preachers? We are really happy with our new lifestyle of clarity but not at all keen to thrust it on anyone else unless they really want to follow suit, just with gentleness and empathy. If you are drinking alcohol happily that’s great too.  All for ‘responsible drinking’, although that phrase that makes us smile (a bit puritanically), in a head to one side sort of way, because we are still not sure how responsible drinking any kind of anaesthetic really can be of benefit in the long run. It certainly didn’t work for most of us.

Pub culture from the olden days seems so romantic and jolly, and if pubs were still like that,  it would be wonderful for the community, especially in rural areas.  No wide screen TV’s showing football, no blaring music, just adult conversation, with a smattering of gossip, no text speak, no twitter.

By and large we really don’t judge anyone, for anything. So why is it, when women like us, who have at last got their lives under control, looking well, feeling well, fitter and more wealthy, some incredibly glamorous, witty and great fun, are judged as boring puritans by drinkers? We faced stigma as drunks, and still face it sober.

There is so much defensiveness and denial with booze and this really comes through on comments following an online newspaper articles about heavy drinkers. They pile in with the usual tirades about it’s our life; we’ll live it our way. Well good. All I hope for is that it never descends into the chaos that ours did.

If sobriety is becoming more fashionable, on trend, then we are delighted. If more women are seen as svelte, savvy Goddesses of a certain age, and as an aside, they don’t happen to drink, then even better. Any woman in control of her life is a force to be reckoned with, and perhaps that might just be frightening some people.

In our less than boring circles, we are very grateful to be a part of the new wave, it’s golden, and you know what, it’s catching on. This is a personal revelation and a revolution.

Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.