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Hide and seek…

This weekend I (patiently) taught my daughter to sew, watched at least two full kids movies without being distracted and started reading a new novel to her on Friday night!!! (and I can remember what I read!) I embarked on and completed an unplanned garden project. Ran, went to the gym, attended a community function, cooked, had early nights, slept well. All in the space of a couple of days. This is possible because my life doesn’t revolve around boozing anymore. I don’t wake up with a heavy heart and head, trying to recount how many units I have consumed the previous evening, dreading opening the fridge to find how little wine was left.  I used to keep moving all day but not really achieve much,  because towards the end of my drinking career, even the “light” drinking sessions brought discomfort the following day and I couldn’t sit still. Guilt would keep me from lying in bed and of course I was trying to prove to myself that I was “functioning” therefore didn’t have a serious problem, blah, blah, blah.

I am cool with all of this and I am grateful for these sober days. I am getting so much of what matters out of my life. My priorities are clearer and in an attempt to keep everything nice and simple for my sanity, I am sort of just staying close to home most of the time, playing it safe. I don’t have huge cravings. It’s been hot so a cold glass of wine would have been nice in the garden…that would have spelled the end of the project, maybe even the beginning. The function we went to was without my other half but with kids and I am trying to get to know people there, so an icebreaker drink would have been appropriate.  Everyone was drinking even though it started before midday!

Oh, how I would have loved that excuse to get stuck in so early on a Sunday. That would’ve sorted my Saturday sluggishness right out. The first really slow wine, the one I’m only going to have to take the edge off…the medicinal one. That was only drink that I ever took my time with and it would have to be a bad hangover at that. The next would just be for enjoyment, to relax, relief as the drinking remorse dispels,  then by the third, I would probably have been back up to my usual speed of guzzling and who knows where the day would have gone from there? By then it could go either way for me. Hopefully, I would have been sensible and gone home with the kids before it got a bit messy, but even then, I would only get myself out of there on the promise of more lovely wine at home. I wasn’t always sensible though, so it could have ended in someone else having to give me a “hand” to get myself and the kids home. I would be cringing the next morning at my lack of self control and responsibility. It would be laughed off as “no harm” sure I was only enjoying myself and wasn’t everyone going for it and having a “good old time” I would vow never to drink again, take a couple of days to get over the guilt, then convince myself that now the memory was no longer so fresh, that it didn’t matter so much anymore, it wasn’t that bad.

Well, I didn’t do that…phew! It was pleasant enough and when we were done, we left and got on with the rest of our day. I am just feeling a bit like I am avoiding my old life. I don’t see friends so much socially. Sure, I arrange coffees and the odd lunch. I attend birthday drinks, meals out, if included but I am very selective and if I feel too vulnerable, not just with the situation but just generally at the time, then I back out.

I wasn’t really aware that I was signing up for this? Just not taking the drink seems to be steering my life hugely away from the course it was on? I am ok with it, cause it’s doing what it’s supposed to … I am not getting drunk anymore, not booze obsessing and don’t feel like I am a loser who isn’t in control of her own decisions or brain. I suppose I didn’t realise how much of my own company I would be in and how much I would lean on/crave my little immediate family. I miss my “friends” maybe they were genuine, maybe not…but we had stuff in common and had fun together, played at being grown ups, parents, employees together. Sometimes escaping the responsibility of it together or laughing it off. Sometimes with booze, sometimes not. But it’s changed and I have changed and I am not really sure where I fit? I guess this is why some of us feel the need to seek out sober friends…

I have gained so much in giving up drinking, it is immeasurable. I just feel slightly off balance sometimes. Like there is too much…me.

Maybe making new friends, sober or not, just ones who get the me I am now, would make me feel more (I want to say fulfilled, but that’s the wrong word, because I am…more that ever) sociable and maybe it wouldn’t.

If this is as good as it gets then I still choose this.

5 thoughts on “Hide and seek…

  1. I think I know what you mean when you say you feel off balance sometimes It’s kind of like you spent so much time dealing with all of the booze issues and now that that isn’t a factor there are awkward spaces in your new life that aren’t filled with stuff from your sober life. Good for you for teaching your daughter to sew.Its a valuable skill and maybe that’s one thing you both can do together in this new sober life. It sounds like you had a lovely weekend.

  2. Once again I am amazed at how your post has reflected what I’m feeling right now. A couple of social situations this weekend – will blog about them shortly – reminded me why I actually need to shelter myself a bit still and that feels frustrating and a bit sad.

    But, at the same time, it was lovely and encouraging to read your post and be reminded why. Because, all that other great stuff you are filling your life up with sounds worth it to me. What a lovely full weekend! So much better really than one wasted in boozing and hangover misery and regret – that the tradeoff sounds really worth it, at least from over here. And from the end of your post it sounds like it does to you too.

    I woke up today feeling a bit like ‘gah, it’s so hard, can I really keep doing this, arrgggh’ but I think we just have to accept that in order to keep doing it then some things about our old life have to change or even be abandoned altogether. Maybe not forever, but maybe, and either way that’s ok because the rewards are worth it. I am ‘thinking aloud’ as I type so I hope this makes sense. Anyway, once again you’ve shined a light on my own struggles and I’m happy to hear you doing so great even on those days it’s a bit of a struggle too.

    Lilly xxx

  3. Still adjusting, that’s what I would say. So don’t stress (if you can help it) too much about how you are fitting in with your old friends and the social scene. This is still a time to go gently, look after yourself, do all those lovely things you are doing that are worth sooooo much.. and slowly but surely you will figure out what else you want to be doing to fill up your life. Your new sober life. So yes, some things will change (it’s never fun trying desperately hard to be boozy at a bar when you’re not boozy if you know what I mean) but other things won’t. I’ve had some great fun times at parties with others boozing and me not.. just coz the vibe was right. But there will be times when we slope off early or not even go and curl up into bed instead.. and there will always be a small sadness attached to that. But it fades, comes more rarely for me now and I bat it away because of the big picture (which you describe so well here). I like to think of my sobriety as a big comfy invisible blanket that I wrap myself in. xxxx

  4. That line – I wasn’t really aware that I was signing up for this – totally reflects how I feel right now. At the beginning I was determined that Nothing Would Change. But it has. There are some things I just don’t want to do any more, and there are some friends I am not so keen to see. But overall, I am still happier than when I was drinking. Happier, but still figuring it all out…xx

  5. This is such a lovely post! Exactly how I am feeling right now too. I had a couple of rough social events this weekend and one didn’t go so well and the other one I chickened out and didn’t go. I felt so guilty for not showing up, but then wrote my old friend an email and chatted with her on the phone the next day and she was very loving and understanding. Part of me misses that nice time with her sitting around her pool and having a couple of drinks and chatting a mile a minute. Was it so harmful? It was all the other times I drank alone and felt like I was in a dark hole that were harmful. Is this really my life now? I figure that since this is my first full summer sober that it would be difficult or different. I’m having way more urges or thoughts of wine and trouble finding my social life this summer. I am also staying close to home and taking good care of myself and my family. I completely loved your last line of ‘if this is as good as it gets then i still choose this.” Love that! Thank you for sharing, you made my day that much easier. xo

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