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.