I've Been Sober For 4 Years: Please Never Ask Or Say These Things To Me Again

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
This week, I celebrated four years sober!
Isn't that bananas? I mean, not really, no: I know how time works, and I know how it passes, and the difference between 2017 and 2013 is night and day and a bunch of other overused sentiments. I don't recognize the person I was then, much like four years from now I probably won't recognize the person I am now. Time is weird and fickle and fleeting and constant and sometimes the only assurance that things are changing, so when I think about that first week of not-drinking, I feel exactly as uncomfortable as I probably did then, only this time it’s because I know how totally fucked up quitting something you really like can be.
You know what else is fucked up? The ridiculous things other people say to you when you don’t drink. So in the spirit of four years and more celebratory sparkling water than you can possibly imagine, here are the statements and questions I, a sober person, hate being asked by people who are not. LET'S LAUGH TOGETHER.
A version of this essay originally appeared in Anne T. Donahue's newsletter, That's What She Said, which you can subscribe to here.