Sobriety is such an odd-bod in Australia you'd reckon, wrongly, it was one of the seven deadly sins.
Alcohol is the great social lubricator, always in top spot of the guest list, such a constant in our lives.
If you go to the pub to meet mates, work colleagues, family, or whoever, you usually go prepared to drink.
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Anyone who doesn't might be lightly, playfully tolerated, arched brows and puzzled smirks and all.
But by the time the drinkers really get drinking this perception of the non-drinker as an outlier to all the fun really goes up a few notches.
That's what alcohol does; someone might say no to the booze, or be happy with one or two amongst the bubbly waters, and they're relegated to the wowser brigade.
And now that we're into full swing of "the season to be jolly", the expectation to join the crowd has really hit a peak.
Experts will say that any alcohol cannot be good for you, that it's a poison and a depressant, that behind the happy mask lies the tentacles of addiction that no one can avoid.
It will also be said that in moderation, whatever this truly means, alcohol can be enjoyed without putting everything at risk.
We must always, too, be cognisant of its devastating role in violence.
Perhaps the way we should relate to alcohol falls somewhere in between the extremes of sobriety and drop-dead drunk.
But because we are all so different in terms of our physiology and our psychological intricacies, no one really knows what sort of happy, safe medium could even be found from one day to the next.
At the very least we should err on the side of restraint.
Albury resident Robyn Flemming's experience is representative of the "can't live without" example, having periods of not knowing how to stop despite this being all she wanted to do.
Ultimately, a lifelong battle has led her to a decade without.
There have been false starts, but never has she felt healthier and more worthy as she has stone-cold sober.
Her courage and her acceptance of this as an illness is a salient, generous reminder to treat alcohol with a knowing wariness cloaked in self-respect.
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