So I think holidays are always going to be a little difficult. Difficult because you're away from your routines and security. And difficult because there are lots more social occasions and reasons to drink. There was a lot of drinking around me over the past 9 days. Did I want a drop ever? Never.
Some sober snapshots from my first trip back home:
1) Out to dinner at a restaurant. Ordered a mocktail. Bartender bought a cocktail over. Shit. Sent it back. Took another 20 minutes before the alcohol-free version arrived.
2) Someone I don't know terribly well popped over for a visit. Everyone was having a wine and I was handed a bright green lime drink. She said 'you're not drinking?' to which I replied in a very matter of fact manner.. 'Nope. Got a problem with it. Was finding it too hard to control so I stopped altogether over a year ago'. The look on her face was priceless - she was stumped! It was great. Lay it out so baldly and you take away any heat or mystery. We moved on pretty quickly to talk about something else. Felt awesome.
3) Dinner party at someone's house. Pudding was strawberries soaked in liqueur. Felt some pressure to eat it. Asked the chef how much alcohol was in it. Was told 'a tiny bit' but having it sit there all liquid and raw freaked me out. Decided in the moment given the potential for tension and offending the chef and making a drama that I'd have four small strawberry quarters carefully drained. Drank two huge glasses of water with it. My first experience of such an issue. I now have a new line in the sand - won't have any food with alcohol in it that hasn't been cooked down.
4) Drank some alcohol-free sparkling grape juice at a dinner that was so like the real thing I felt very very strange about it. It honestly tasted like booze. It was a weird sensory experience. Wasn't nice, unsettling.
5) Was asked by someone to bring their wine upstairs as we were getting ready to go out. It was a long walk up those stairs with that glass in my hand. I held my arm out in front of me a bit.
6) I slept badly on a selection of beds and sofa beds (3 different houses). Grew progressively more tired as the holiday went on but still woke up every single morning happy with no hangover. Holidays like this in the past have been an endless succession of miserable hangovers.
7) A party on the last night with a crowd that is traditionally very boozy. Was the last thing I felt like doing, but drank a very large sugar-free red bull on the way over, got a second wind and had a lovely, chatty, fun evening - dropping people off on the way home at midnight! Once again proving to myself that I do not need wine to have fun. I do not need wine at all.
Love, Mrs D xxx