I had lunch with my lovely friend Sue yesterday (she who was on the Sunday programme with me, and writes guest posts and contributes 'Drink of the Week' ideas for Living Sober) .. it was her second soberversary - yay! - and we had a fantastic nearly two hours together chatting away. I had the waitress take a photo of us at the end just because I feel so fortunate to have her in my life.
I was looking at this photo last night and got worried that I was squashing Sue rather too tightly (look at my hands clasped together against her arm!) but then I thought no loving hug can be too tight can it?
Sue has said to me before, and I think that she's right, if we'd met when we were both still drinking we probably wouldn't have hit it off quite like we have now that we're both sober. I'm sort-of social and verbal and she's quite reserved and gentle.. and when we were drinking we became more extreme versions of ourselves and therefore further apart from each other. Funnily enough getting sober has moved our personalities closer together. I am definitely more gentle and reflective now than I ever was when boozing, and she has just blossomed in herself without wine in the way. I hope she doesn't mind me summarizing her this way…! Of course we are both very complicated creatures and this paragraph can't do justice to our personalities or what has transpired for each of us since we got sober but hopefully you get the gist.
The gist = Sue rocks.
At lunch we talked about how crazy it feels to have had our eyes opened to alcohol now that we've had to work hard to remove it and re-train our brains to accept life without it. It seems incredible to us now looking around at how deeply so many people are hard-wired to believe all of the fallacies that booze offers.
That it's the best way to relax (it's not, relaxing is about quietening your brain and dropping your shoulders and feeling calm and happy and not stressed or wound up or busy).
That it's the best way to enjoy a party (it's not, enjoying a party is when you feel genuinely happy with the company, your outfit, your mood, the music, the environment, the decorations, the chats & jokes etc).
That it's the best way to bond with a friend (it's not, bonding with friends is when you are listening and sharing and giving and connecting and loving and caring).
That it's the best way to be a good host (it's not, being a good host is about making your guests feel welcome and warm and comfortable and happy to be in your space, chatting to and sharing time, food & music etc with you).
That it's the best way to deal with stress (it's not, the best way to deal with stress is by thinking clearly through what is making you stressed, taking steps to reduce or manage that stress in a proper, productive, tangible, real ways).
Why does a brain-bending liquid get all the power? Because we give it the power. We're hard-wired to believe it has the power. Marketing and advertising tells us it has the power.
Well guess what? It doesn't. Booze doesn't have the power to do any of what it promises or offers. We have the power. We hold the power in all of us.
That's what me and Sue reckon anyway.
Love, Mrs D xxx