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I was in Sing & Sign class with Liza and Zia this morning.
Liza went to the toilet leaving me as my nine-month-old daughter's only line of salvation. I was bobbing and weaving as the toys flew at my head like a school of flying fish when I heard one of the women in the class say this:
“They gave her four needles, two in each leg.”
She was talking about her one-year-old daughter's vaccinations. Within seconds of her sentence scurrying around the room like a sensible soliloquy, other parents chimed in with equally horrific stories about Genghis Khan type nurses jabbing their children.
I remained on the periphery, underneath the singing salmon that hung above my head, hoping that it didn’t take this opportunity to burst into song.
I hold the contrarian view when it comes to vaccinations, and I was desperate not to be brought into the conversation because answering the ‘why’ is like the ashes of death to any conversation.
The conversation around child vaccinations is vicious, and so you have to tread carefully and pick your battles wisely.
And as I sat there, shrinking in the corner, trying to be invisible I couldn't help think of the days following my decision to quit alcohol.
Everyone around me shared the belief that the consumption of alcohol was both normal and pleasurable. Then there was me. The only person who came to the party armed with the opposing view.
I didn’t hide in the corner.
I didn’t want to be invisible.
I welcomed the 'why' with a sadistic smile.
I wanted the pain.
But it served no purpose other than to alienate me, and to weaken any potential I had for being a role model.
Alcoholism is an invisible, violent, and dominant belief system. I can see that. You can see that. Those held in the vice-like grip of Alcoholism cannot see what you see. They cannot hear what you hear.
Be a role model. Don’t to go to war armed with nothing but words. Show them you don’t need alcohol to enjoy your life, and let your actions do the talking for you.
Only get involved in the 'why' when you are confident the person doing the talking is serious about learning the knowledge that you are ready to pass along like a virus.
If you get a sniff, they are about to take you on, dodge the question - don't waste your time.
Do what I did this morning, and hide.