What is up with binge drinking?
I'm seriously having a tough time with this, to the point that it's eating away at me. My family all loves to drink. I've been drunk a few times, especially as I first started drinking, but getting sick, and especially the hangovers, cured that right away from me. Luckily for me drinking has never been so alluring. For my family, however, they can't understand this. I'm constantly pressured to drink. I'll be seen at some family gathering, and the constant question is "oh why aren't you drinking" as if I need to have a drink in my hand at all times. I do drink, but the problem that they have is that I don't get drunk. This seems impossible for them to understand, and I'm pressured all the time about it.

I really can't understand it. Is it so wrong that I don't like to get blackout drunk, throw up, and embarrass myself in front of everyone? I mean, what's the point. It would be one thing if it was just them doing it, but I loathe the fact that I get so much pressure about it. It's as if you can't have a good time without drinking.

The thought of this gets me sick to my stomach. The vulgarity and depravity that drunkenness produces in my relatives gets me worried, and I especially worry about my children growing up in this environment. I've had the thought that perhaps it would be better to move away than allow my children to be exposed to this, because you know as well as I do that drunkenness is associated with many other perverse lifestyle habits. At the same time, I care about my family, but this isn't healthy for me, my future wife (who is also revolted by all of it), and my children.

So could anyone offer some advice, some words of consolation, or even prayers? I also feel like this is leading me into sinfulness to deal with the stress.

Thank you everyone.
I suspect that these people know there's something wrong with their behaviour and are offended by you not doing likewise in their presence because you being there and acting virtuously convicts them of their vice.
Be an example to them. Don't drink at all at these gatherings.
I would suggest refraining from any drink at these events -- but do it with the right state of mind. Don't do it and then sit there begrudgingly and grumpy that everyone else is, that won't prove anything to anyone. Do it and have as much fun as you can.
"Punishment is justice for the unjust." Saint Augustine of Hippo
I don't know if I can provide a good answer. I used to be a heavy drinker (minimum 12-beers or a bottle of whisky a night); for me it was connected with depression, and the drinking  and depression combined in a downward spiral that had me sleeping until evening, eating garbage for dinner and then drinking until 7 or 8 in the morning. Repeat every day for a few years, and surprise! I weighed 70 pounds more! I've been paying that particular debt off ever since.

There's probably something to the idea that they are not dealing with something, covering up unpleasant emotions with alcohol, and when they see you not drinking, they take that as a personal indictment of them and their behavior. It's not reasonable, but if we're talking about people that drink a LOT, reason is not part of the equation. My dad's family was like that - my granddad used to drink just inhuman amounts of booze all the time. He all but stopped drinking except for the occasional glass of wine a few years ago - I guess as he realized he was a lot closer to the end than the beginning, he started taking better care of himself.

I think not drinking and enjoying yourself besides is probably the best thing to do when you're there; otherwise, prayer. I know from my own experience, they'll only stop when they want to.
I know what you mean about family gatherings. My family is all intensely German and there's a lot of pressure for me to drink heavily on the holidays or when we're all together. Personally I've found that if you're not drinking you're going to get questions for a while, and perhaps even teased a little bit, but that it happens less and less often after they keep seeing you refuse it. Don't make a big fuss about it, just politely decline or have a single beer. You don't want to make any enemies -- especially among your family!
Alcoholics usually want you to drink with them because it makes them feel better about their own drinking. Misery loves company, as they say...only they don't think they're miserable until ...........

(1) they wake up the next day with a hangover  :sick: 

(2) their marriage breaks up or they lose their job  :angrywom:

(3) they are diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.  :mementomori:

This happened repeatedly in my family. Most are either recovering in AA, drunk, or dead.

I am the lone teetotaler.  :coffee:

In due time they came to accept my sobriety (maybe even secretly envy it), and my absenteeism at most family gatherings. And when I do show up they usually leave me alone.


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