My month off the sauce draws some reader response.

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“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

Right now, that would be the conviction of some readers that I have a drinking problem.

Though I’ve come to wonder if the diagnoses don’t say more about them.

I celebrated another Dry January without cheating, struggling or gazing at a Kettel One martini like it was Vincent Cassel in white. (Look it up and thank me later.)

I joined friends at happy hour, in restaurants and around their own tables, happy to sip my club soda and lime, and quite sure that I don’t have a dependence on booze.

I just wish readers would take my word for it.

“This woman is clearly a drunk,” one commenter posted under my annual Dry January column last month.

“If you drink every day, but are able to quit for a month before going back to drinking, it does not mean you are not an alcoholic,” wrote another. “You are what is considered a ‘dry drunk.’ Would you say the same thing about a heroin addict that quit for a year and then relapsed, or would you still consider them to be a junkie?”

“Drink every day”? Where did that come from?

It’s a fascinating thing, really, how people you’ve never met have no qualms calling you a drunk, an alcoholic. People who have never been in the same room with me weighed right in:

“Someone needs to give Nicole a pamphlet,” wrote one more commenter. “Why does one need to obsess on ‘abstention’ for a period of time unless you’re struggling with something?”

Why can’t a person abstain from something and suggest it to others as a healthful and thoughtful way to mark the start of a new year without being diagnosed? And what is it about alcohol that sets people off?

One well-intentioned woman named Rachel went as far as sending me the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders comparisons on substance abuse and dependence disorders, attaching passages from my past Dry January columns to make her point.

Rachel put a lot of time into telling me I had a problem; when I printed out her message, it was four pages long and included her drinking history and the admission that she was in an intensive outpatient program and is now in relapse prevention.

“I don’t hope to ‘save’ you,” she began. “I’m one person seeing someone with the same symptoms and saying the same stuff.”

What was I saying? That I wanted to take a month off; not that I was worried I had a problem.

“It’s a strong charge,” said Rosealie Gillman, a Seattle therapist who works in addiction and recovery. She can’t bear the term “alcoholic.”

“It’s such a demeaning term,” she said. “You’re a person who has an addiction, but you’re much more than that. You’re a father or a son or a wife or a mother or a teacher. You’re much more. You’re not one-dimensionial.”

That said, Gillman thought it was “interesting” that I take a month off the sauce.

“How much do you drink?” she asked. (Really? You too?)

Almost nothing during the week, I told her. A few glasses of wine on the weekend. A martini and wine with a nice dinner every few weeks.

“You’re just enjoying life with a little wine and a drink once in a while,” she said.

Thank you.

“You’re not addicted to this thing,” she said. “You’re not someone who couldn’t take a month off and not have some relapse. And you’re not picking up a drink to solve a problem or create an article.”

If I were, she said, then we’d have something to talk about: “We would work on what was behind it in Jungian terms. What’s the shadow? What’s in the unconscious? What hasn’t been brought to light?”

People label others, Gillman said, because they are struggling to figure out their own relationship to booze.

“Whoever is doing this must be coming from being in recovery themselves,” she said, “and there’s a strong kind of front that needs to be put on in order to be strong.

“You have to be almost puritan in the approach.”

It wasn’t all bad.

The Le May Museum in Tacoma invited me to “break my fast” at “Drive the Blues Away,” held the first week in February. People sampled from local craft breweries, did distillery tastings, smoked Montecristo cigars and listened to three live bands. And hopefully, they waved goodbye to all the cars — including their own — and climbed into a cab when it was over.

One commenter named MXA shared an idea called “Raise One Glass!” which suggests every beer, wine and spirits advertisement include someone partying with a glass of water.

“This supports those who are sober by seeing someone having fun without alcohol,” MXA wrote.

My Dry January ended on Feb. 1 — just in time for the Super Bowl, when I and the entire city had a glass to fill with whatever they liked.

Alas, this year it was mostly tears.