Powerful Words

When my kids were little and trying on profanity as children do, I used to tell them that profanity was just a group of words to which society had given power.  The only power curse words had was what we gave them.  That was usually followed immediately by, “In this house they still hold power so you won’t be using them.”  I also let them know that there was a time and place for those words and that time and place was never around adults or in public places.  I knew they would be using it with their friends because, let’s face it, it’s a right of passage but with those rights came the responsibility to know how and when to let fly with an f-bomb.  I never had one issue with them using inappropriate language and to this day they blush if they say “damn” in my presence.  I like that.

I also modeled the behavior and offer them the same respect I expected of them.  Told you I was only a potty-mouth on my blog.

Anyway, after reading all the wonderful comments from my post yesterday, it occurred to me that I have assigned way to much power to what amounts to a group of vowels and consonants strung together to form a word.  Society has also given the word way too much clout and most of it is negative, which makes a lot of us “non-drinkers” recoil when the word is used to describe us while others embrace it like a long-lost friend that has finally returned home.

Read that last, very long and run-on sentence again.  The important part is that some of us recoil and some do not.  WE decide how we will react to words.  WE have the power…no one else.


The fact is that I have a negative connotation with that word and always will.  To me it represents ruined holidays, turbulent birthdays, arguments, drama and turmoil.  It means lies and selfishness, separation and divorce, illness and eventually death.  It scares me.  It’s ugly.

I don’t do ugly.

So I’ve decided to “drop the rope” when it comes to that word.  Since I have and always will give it power, I’m going to stop trying to make it something it’s not.  For me, it’s not a warm and fuzzy word.  It’s comes with baggage and I’ve got enough of that thank you very much.  No more fighting with it.  It’s just a word.  No more and no less.

Hi, I’m Sherry and I don’t fucking drink.  That is all.

(You knew I had to drop an f-bomb before the end of the post right?)


9 thoughts on “Powerful Words

  1. Awesome Sherry, I don’t fucking drink either, and I too hate that word. It is why I did not open my mouth at AA for 3 months. Now I just say it, because it is protocol.
    In 1974 I watched a television movie starting Dick Van Dyke. It was called “The Morning After”. It was about the downward spiral of a successful man into full blown alcoholism. If I recall correctly, at the end he was on the streets. He WAS an ALCOHOLIC.
    When I decided to get sober, that was the image I carried in my head of an ALCOHOLIC. Him, not me.
    I, too, had to reconcile myself to THAT word. Outside of AA, I never use it. I just say I am sober, or in recovery, or not thanks, and lastly if needed, I don’t fucking drink anymore!! 🙂

    1. I think that will be my new mantra.

      “Hi Sherry. Would you like a glass of wine?”

      “No thank you. I don’t fucking drink anymore.”

      That oughta go over well at the office Christmas party! (Just picturing it makes me LOL.)


  2. I hate the word too, and I don’t use it because the term itself is so open-ended that it doesn’t really describe anything. It’s the equivalent of calling someone “retarded” instead of “having a cognitive impairment.” Easy to say, and we all have an idea what it means, but it’s also pejorative and packed with baggage.


  3. Hold that thought, I said to myself when I’ve read your post. It opened my eyes actually… to the fact that I am (to a certain extend) afraid of the word drinking. When I write about it, I noticed I avoid the word “drinking.” I need to give it some thought to figure out why. Negative connotation? I bet.

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