Home » Uncategorized » London Sober Tea and cake…

London Sober Tea and cake…

On Sunday I went to Belle’s Team 100 London sober meet up. I have to admit I was a little nervous beforehand for a couple of reasons. I was anxious about meeting new people for the first time and I felt vulnerable and self conscious about ‘outing’ myself as an alcoholic outside of my inner circle. There was no other reason to be there than because I am a person who has issues with booze. If you had overheard our café conversation at any point you would have thought we were a bunch of AA people having a discussion about our drinking problems?! Seriously, we weren’t that loud and it was very discreet….Belle style!  There was no way I going to miss out on the chance of meeting Belle, but when I first emailed her and asked if she would like to have tea in London, I didn’t really envision a ‘group’ session.

It was, of course, absolutely lovely and everybody there was so nice. I will chime in too with how perfectly ‘normal’ (what was I expecting?) everyone looked. We were all at different points in our sobriety, varying ages, but with one thing in common, our inability to manage our booze issues on our own. It was refreshing to be able to speak out loud about the problems and the shame and to share in the victories of the solutions we have found, the successes. It was lovely to be amongst people that understood the situation. Like me, they were baffled at how such bunch of intelligent, kind, sane, regular women can end up so desperately helpless when it comes to alcohol??

It was a huge relief to be able to talk openly. I have toyed with the idea of AA, not because I think I am doing it wrong,  but because I think my sobriety would be hugely enhanced and my long term chances improved, by having some sober people to hang out with in my real life.

I know that what I am doing works for me. It is keeping me sober. I am happy. I have support. I have a network available to me should I feel the slide starting and I know that I would need to reach out and talk about it if I was having notions about buying or drinking wine. Writing my feelings on my blog, reading others, commenting constantly and giving encouragement is something I do a little of every day. I know that if I slack off I start to feel isolated and the voice comes back. I listen to podcasts when a particular area of the sober journey is bothering me or if  I am just feeling stuck. I talk to my husband and he gives me a hug when I need it.

I have my own personal reasons why AA is not for me. I choose this and it works. I am over seven months sober and it’s getting easier all the time. The only thing I don’t think that has eased with time is this desire to have some people to talk about it with in my real life. On Sunday, I realised how lovely it would be to have a bunch of sober friends who you could meet with from time to time. To be able to chat about progress, swap survival tips, unload some of the shame with people who have enough of their own not to judge. How nice it would be to not feel alone anymore, to enhance my sobriety and help others with theirs? Why can’t it be that easy?

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19 thoughts on “London Sober Tea and cake…

  1. How nice that you got to meet a few of the people on Team 100! I think I’d be nervous too. I often feel that I wish I had some of you to go have coffee with and talk openly about sobriety. My regular old friends say they understand what I’m going thru and try to support me, but then I see them post “Happy Hour with _____” on Facebook and it’s not ever with ME! Ugh! Sucks! They are going on Wine Tours in the country for girls weekends, but not ME! They post stupid jokes on FB about “a day without Wine is a day not worth living”. You know…stupid stuff that gets under my skin. I just end up backing away from them and feel even more isolated in my sober victory! Maybe this stuff was going on while I was drinking wine and I just didn’t notice? I never did happy hour out somewhere and never went on a wine weekend either. I don’t mean to sound like ‘poor me’ cause I am so much more happy sober. Just wish I had some friends to share good sober times with. I’ve thought of going to AA too, but with work and kids, it’s just easier to click on here any hour of the day and do my sober work. Maybe I should place an ad in Craigslist for sober friends? No…just kidding. Any thoughts? Oh and I remember feeling human at 7 months sober…glad you are feeling the groove now too. This post got longer than I intended…thanks for listening!

  2. My thoughts mirror yours regarding AA and wanting fellowship. The support from everyone here has been a godsend for me. Still, sometimes I wish I had local go to buddies as well. ♥

    • Yep, me too…
      The sober blogging world is almost all I need, and if you knew how many ways I’d tried before to stop drinking…
      This stuff works, I’d be lost without you all, for sure.

  3. I do attend AA each Monday evening and I’m thinking of not returning. There is a rule there that you don’t “talk over” the person who is sharing. There is no give and take, just going around the room talking about “poor me, bad parents, selfish siblings, etc.” It is a dumping ground. I am in an all-women group and maybe that’s the problem. But there is nothing enlightening or positive that is said and certainly no sharing of advise. These women have been coming to that little room in the back of the church for ten years plus! I’d love to see some small groups emerge that can meet for breakfast, lunch, or lemonade after work, rather than a dingy back room of a church. Plus…I’m tired of being annonymous!

    • I like the informality that we have here. Everyone just chimes in as and when. I don’t think it’s for me, in terms of time also…I do what I need on here, that works.
      Sober coffee dates occasionally would be the icing on the cake.

  4. I feel that way, too. Sometimes I think I should just go to AA for the fellowship, even though I have reasons why I don’t personally want to go, as well. Maybe I am making it harder on myself by doing it alone? I wish there were other options. I am a member of Women For Sobriety, but there are no face-to-face meetings in my area. I am thinking that I might start one if I can make it past one year sober. Anyway, the sober blogging world is fantastic and I am grateful for all of you. The meet-up in London sounds really nice. 🙂

  5. I’m with you on this. The blogging world has helped me so much, but it would be great to actually sit down and talk to some people who are sober. I didn’t like AA either though, in part for reasons like Changingoursenow gives. I really thought there would be conversation, and a series of monologues, while helpful to some people, left me cold. Anyway, sounds like the London meetup was lovely, so a big hooray for that!

  6. This is so great! Glad you had a good time… And, yeah, maybe posting a CL ad could work? Or, finding activities to join that don’t usually involve or revolve around booze, like hiking, book clubs, etc.?

    • Yes it was fab. Ha ha, this made me giggle…I used to go to a book club. Once a month you took turns entertaining, providing food and everyone brought a bottle of wine. It was totally another excuse to get drunk mid week for me. I think I’d struggle round here to find a non booze one. Maybe hiking…

  7. I’m up for fellowship too. Anyone in the Chicago area that wants to have coffee. I would love real sober friends, not just cyber ones. No offense guys, you’re great but human contact might be nice.
    Sharon

  8. Carrie, this hits home. It’s as if our booze-addled society is forcing us to have to “adapt” to their world because we, as non-drinkers, are pariahs. We have to struggle, it can’t be easy for us, and we have to figure it out. It’s all bull. But it would be so great o have others to hang out with. I am so jealous of your lunch in London with Belle and others. I would love to have attended. But this is what I tell myself. I know some people (very, very few mind you) who never drink, and who really never drank their entire lives. I ask myself all the time, “does she ever feel like she needs other non-drinkers to talk to, to commiserate with? Does she feel left out?” I’m sure the answer is no. I not at all sure I’ll ever get to that place or if it’s even possible for people like me, but it’s somehow comforting to me to know it’s possible. Anyway, I’m so happy for you that you had this experience. It sounded wonderful 🙂

    -Brett

  9. It’s just so ingrained in us. Everything is alien when you take away the booze. Of course it’s totally possible to have a really nice life and not have other sober people in it, I can vouch for that!
    It’s just that I find recovering sober people to be interesting and of course, on my wavelength too. It’s a bit like discovering a new hobby that adds something to your life.

  10. Bit late here, but this is soo inspiring! How amazing to actually meet the blogging network! I think the human contact is so very important, it really makes us see that we are not unique, we are all in fact very similar in this aspect! I go to meetings for my fellowship, there I met lots of women who have become my dearest friends. But it would be nice if there was a meeting group for those not interested in AA. Maybe this is a start of something new… ?
    Btw, I am in Washington, DC if anyone is ever in the area! Thanks Carrie, great post, and very heartwarming.

    • Hi Maggie,
      I agree that going from from to commenting, emailing, texting, then actually meeting up is another way, with baby steps to get the courage to stay sober. It would be great to have a network of these going on all over the world. Who knows?! Watch this space!

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