It's been lovely, a little bit of effort but not too much. Both events were very relaxed and nice and I met some lovely new people in the neighbourhood.
Most people were having the odd beer and wine at each event but not much. If I'd have been drinking I probably wouldn't have presented as over-enthusiastic either.. I would have had a respectable one or two wines and would have remained well-behaved.
But because the beast in me would have been awakened I would have likely gone home after each event and continued on drinking - a lot. I would have polished off at least a bottle of wine to myself on Saturday night (probably more) .. and as a result at the Sunday afternoon event I would have been hungover. That wouldn't have stopped me from having another wine or two in the afternoon and sure enough I would have been pulled in the direction of even more back at home on Sunday night.
How often I would turn up to things hungover? A lot. Kids birthday parties particularly - I have distinct memories of being at kids birthday parties where I was so hungover I could hardly string two sentences together.. I remember making mumbled excuses as to why I was a bit quiet - 'am pretty hungover today' sort of thing. Wonder what the other adults thought of me when I said that? 'She's a lush' probably. But in my mind I just thought it showed that I was sort-of cool and hard core.
How deluded I was.
I like sober me. I know that some people might think I'm boring because I don't drink. I know some people might think I'm quiet or low-key at a social event.. but the more I live not drinking the more I just settle into who I am. Who I really am. Authentic me.
Authentic me is more comfortable sitting quietly in a group not feeling the need to fill every gap in the conversation.
Authentic me is happy to quietly stand and smile and chat a little but not feel itchy or jumpy about the interactions that are going on.
Authentic me has space in her brain to really listen to what other people are saying and to engage with them in a genuine manner.
Authentic me can still get embarrassed or feel awkward at times in a social setting.. but by and large authentic me is pretty comfortable in her own skin.
Without a doubt the word authentic is one of my most favourite words in the entire English language nowadays. It has such wonderful connotations. It implies qualities that are calm, content, genuine, honest, truthful, real. All of those things I was desperately wanting (and trying) to be when I was boozing.
Without booze you have no choice but to discover authentic you.
And that, my friends, is a truly wonderful & rewarding thing.
Love, Mrs D xxx