This weekend was a nice quiet one sandwiched between two weekends full of social commitments and family stuff, lots of which is/was centred round booze.
I wasn’t really tempted to drink. I found some of the situations difficult, it would have been a lot easier to “fit in” had I been drinking and the awkward moments would have been a bit less work but overall, I am getting better at just holding my head up and facing stuff without the prop. It’s not easy, it left me pretty tired but the decision has been made and that’s that.
I made the most of my quiet weekend to recharge batteries and do sober stuff which makes me feel good, like running, baking, eating, reading, talking to my husband lots about my feelings. I totally love these weekends where I am in control, close to home, simple agenda, feeling safe. Sometimes, I think this is all I need, how I would never be tempted again if I could just choose exactly how and with who I spend my time.
Overall in my sobriety, I flit between thinking that I have fucked my life up and am half a person, not normal anymore, don’t really fit in anywhere to feeling like I might have discovered the true meaning of life. Not that being sober brings huge highs all the time, but slowly the penny is dropping that this calmer, slower, more predictable pace of life is growing on me. It fits more comfortably as time goes on and I finally feel like I am catching my breath for the first time in years, decades possibly. There are times when I could literally cry for the amount of emphasis I/we have put on booze over the last twenty years.
To quote a friend the other day during a pleasant meal taken in the garden during the heat wave we are experiencing here. “There’s nothing like a cold glass of wine on a hot day!”
Well, fuck that! Yes there is…try..
Waking up to the sunshine and the birds singing without a hangover…again!
Taking your first coffee/tea of the day in the garden
Reading a good book in the dappled shade
A huge glass of cold water with ice and lemon to quench your thirst and actually hydrate you
Losing weight without really trying cause it’s “salad” weather
Counting down to your Summer holiday
Being proud for staying sober yet another day
There are loads of things that feel a thousand times better than that glass of wine with it’s false promises. I would have drunk the bottle and been dehydrated, hot and grumpy.
As long as I have balance, I think I can cope. I can avoid situations, keep myself safe for the most part but I still need to engage in life. I need to be accepting that other people’s habits don’t change just because mine did. Sometimes it’s still ok to play along with the whole socialising around booze as long it doesn’t make me want to drink. It’s ok to feel uncomfortable, awkward, boring, different. These are feelings and I need to face them. I can’t run away from every situation using the excuse that I don’t drink anymore. Once done, I can retreat to my sober bubble, refuel, recharge, reward.
There are friends who when I have seen them always mention booze, whether it’s about me not drinking or their drinking etc. The one’s who are always first to bring it up, wondering if I am drinking again, or try to make plans for when I will be. I have been struggling with how to handle this? Are they true friends? Should I drop everyone who has a less than understanding attitude to my booze holiday?!
I have decided that I should just purely recognise that for these friends, drinking is prevalent in their lives at the moment for whatever reason. For my own peace of mind it is better that I don’t spend time with too many people for whom drinking is a big deal for now…I will try to see them in other non boozy situations. That is the best I can offer and if the friendships come out the other side of that then that would be great. I really don’t want to isolate myself deliberately from people but if doing my best to make them feel comfortable with my sobriety isn’t work then it’s just too much hard work and I have enough of that at the moment.
As a result of me not joining in with the boozers last weekend my eldest and I had a little chat about how come I am still not drinking. I said a bit about being healthier and how you have be careful with alcohol and that it’s addictive and some people can drink more than they mean to and that I was like that. I explained I didn’t like that I wasn’t really in charge of it all of the time so it was better for me to not drink. Asking if it was for good…I said that I thought “for good” would be best so that is what I am aiming for. The reply was “I am glad you don’t drink anymore” That’s a huge statement as no comment was ever made about my drinking but it was obviously something that had been thought about, worried over maybe? This is a really big deal for me. I don’t want my kids to have a mother they have to worry about. There were a few tears, a big hug and I am both proud and relived to have been able to speak honestly and hold my head high.