Sunday, March 4, 2012

I admit, things have to be different..

I think I'm only just realising this.  For the past six months I've been convinced that my life will stay exactly the same but just with the booze taken out.  I was going to turn sober but my lifestyle wasn't.  I was going to keep going to everything, doing everything, living in every way the same but just without the wine.

One of my big techniques was to not let alcohol give any event it's currency, but to see that event as having a currency of its own that I could still participate in.  (A fun party is fun because of the fun music and conversations, not because it means you can get pissed, a celebratory toast between humans is lovely and joyous because you're sharing a special celebration with other humans, not because the liquid in the glass is alcoholic etc etc...) 

I was determined that this would be so.  I read Jason Vale and this was his big push - don't be miserable and 'dry', staying at home and counting the days since you last had a drink, feeling left out and boring.  Go out! (he said) and show the world that you're still just as fun as ever, that you don't need the booze to lift you up!

So that's what I've been trying to do, and for the most part it works, but at the same time I'm wrestling with the fact that I feel different, that 'naughty, fun, Mrs D' is fading and I'm mourning her loss (why can't I seem to take the word 'naughty' out of that description?)

People often comment on here to me 'put your sobriety first' and 'nothing is more important than your sobriety' and to be honest I've always thought to myself  'oh the fact that I'm sober isn't the leading factor in my life, it's just a little sub-plot'.  Maybe I just felt more clever than that.

Sigh.  Well, here goes folks.   For all you amazing people with 1, 2, 3 or more years off the sauce watching my revelations unfold here in the blogosphere, and for those of you following behind me, I'm six months into it and I'm finally saying 'things have to be different'.

I'm going to not do things if being sober at them is going to be too difficult.  I'm not going to put myself through that.  Even if it means sitting at home with a mixture of emotions.  Even if it means friends are going to comment or become aware that I've changed. 

I have changed.  I don't drink any more.  Sorry.  And you do.  That makes me different.  I am different now.  And so is my life.  And I'm crying now, shit those tears were unexpected, I can't believe this.  But this is why I write this blog.  Because it helps me.  This is a sad realisation, but I'm hoping it's a dip in the curve of my new sober life and there will be a different sort of peak as time goes on. 

Because I'm aiming high.  I really mean it when I say I'm never going to drink again.  So here at six months I admit my lifestyle will change.  I look forward to seeing at 1 year, 2 years, 3 years what that change will be.

Love, Mrs D xxx


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  2. Mrs. D. I came to the same conclusion after a while too. I didn't want to have to change when I first stopped drinking. I thought I was fabulous just the way I was. I thought if I couldn't make the scene anymore, my life would suck. But as time went on and I got more comfortable with the idea of never drinking and less comfortable with putting myself in those positions of feeling "not a part of," my feelings changed. I was becoming okay with changing me a little. And then as I uncovered some character flaws I wasn't aware of, things about me which would have irritated the crap out of me coming from someone else, I was okay with changing me some more. But you know what? We change on the inside but on the outside, people see the same person just practicing a different lifestyle.

    Hugs to you! You're still going to be fabulous Mrs. D.

  3. and don't forget that at 6 months a lot of people get a depressed sort of period which might be why you have the tears flowing! love your blog.

  4. So I removed my previous comment because it didn't come out the way I wanted it too.

    Take two...

    I felt the same way (and sometimes still do...but only a little bit). I wanted so badly to still be hip and cool but just sober. Eventually it subsided for the most part but what I think really happened is that I changed for the better along the way. I think I've become a better person and so I'm feeling better about these times and how I react to them.

    I hope this makes sense. Be well and keep writing...I love your blog.

    Be well.

  5. Oh man. Dry drunk is the worst place to be in my opinion. I was like you too honestly. I didn't want much to change other than not drinking but once I realized and understood that alcohol was merely a symptom of the disease that I had, I really had to open my eyes and look around and see all the behaviors, obsessions, actions, thoughts, etc that needed to change in my life. If I hadn't found a sponsor and worked the steps and truly changed my life, I am not sure where I would be. I just actually wrote how trite all of that used to sound but it's honestly true. This coming from someone who is by nature cynical and argumentative - ha!

    I wish you luck - love reading your blog. We have all been there and we all still have sucky days. I do agree though - the sobriety does have to come first. And for me that means the sober lifestyle and everything that comes along with it. Without sobriety, the rest of my life goes to shit. I've seen it happen!

  6. Unfortunately we have to give up much of our old lives and "surrender" to truly recover. There's a big difference between sobriety and recovery.

    There's also a lot to be said for working the steps. Naughty, fun Mrs. D will eventually take you back to that dark place. Doesn't mean that you can never go to a party again. Heck. I go to bars sometimes for dinner or music. My sponsor always reminds me to remember why I'm there and to have an out if things get too complicated.

  7. I very rarely drink in any home or out socially, it is just something I haven't really done, so I'm usually always "the sober one" at parties. Sometimes I feel a bit "square"... or like the odd one out, but you know what, I remind myself that I'm the one who's going to go home and remember the night out.. Im the one who's going to feel great the next morning.... (I know you know all of these things since kicking the grog!)...
    But one thing I make an effort at doing when out, is MAKING a good time happen. Even if I'm not really "feeling it", or people smirk at my lemonades (or raspberry and lemonade is my drink of choice .. lol).. As the lead singer in our band, I always get people coming up in set breaks and saying "Let me buy you a drink...what will you have?" and I either say "raspberry and lemonade" or "Cuppa tea please".... 99% of the time people are floored... they say..."What??? you're in a band? You can't be serious??" and I say
    "yep that's what I'll have thanks!" I have people try to FORCE me to have an alcoholic drink and I say "Nahh...later to that thanks!" It's funny! It wouldn't be funny however if I was trying to stay sober and had an alcohol problem!!
    anyway back to what I was going to say.. Yes... you are going to be different, and yes it's going to be a whole "other" way of living out your social life (sober)... but it does not have to be boring or dull! I vividly remember going to a 21st I think, and my friend and I were probably the only 2 there not drinking alcohol. And we sat there and said to each other "Right... we are GOING to have a great time... lets do it." Well, we made that conscious effort to get up... dance on that empty dance floor... to sit and laugh and enjoy ourselves, and you know what happened... people slowly made their way over to our part of the room to "have a good time" with us. We made so many new friends that night... (minus any alcohol at all).... and we actually became the life of the party.

    Probably not much help in my story... but I'm pretty sure that you'll become one of these "fun, naughty, very social" sober people!!
    Hang in there!

  8. ...geez my comment looks nearly as long as your post!! ;)

  9. thenoiseandhaste here: Oh, Mrs. D, I can *so* relate! I was never the life of the party, even when drinking -- but I still get it, that gap, that disconnect between you and the people around you who can't really relate to what you're going through. Just keep listening to your inner voice (which comes through so brilliantly on this blog) and you will be fine.

  10. Wild applause from this corner Mrs D. There is a wonderful new sober life waiting for you and it will be far, far better than your old life (how sustainable was that anyway longer term, as you got older? Middle-aged and elderly drunks are just a bit sad really, not fun, smart or cool). But, (sorry for the cliche, but unfortunately cliches are often true)you have to give up the old life before you can start the new.

    The hour is darkest before the dawn and all that. The grain of wheat has to fall to the ground and appear to die in order to produce many times itself in fruit. This insight is found in all the main spiritual traditions.

    This is my experience. Read the AA promises. (Chapter 5 I think)

    And yes, grief for the loss is a natural and normal part of the process.

  11. In my last sobriety I realised that I no longer am the happy funny laughing and entertaining gal that I used to be when drinking. I accepted that I simply don't enjoy going out on parties any longer and stopped pretending and stopped going out on those occations. Not the ones with booze anyway. Us sober alkies can throw damn fun parties every once in a while and those parties I love to attend!

    I don't have the patience or interest for that way of socializing, the get togethers where everybody has to drink alcohol.

    I only went out partying before because it was an excellent opportunity for me to drink! That was the main reason... maybe even the only reason, I don't know.

    As I now am rebuilding my circle of friends, it is very much adapted to my sobriety and to current interests.

    But yes, it is a sorrow. I don't know if I miss those days... they were happy days, but bloody wild and crazy days. Maybe I miss who I was or became when drinking, but I must accept that it is not me, it never was the real me. Had it been the real me, then I would have been the same with booze or no booze.

    I don't think about it... sure, it does hurt not to share the whole drinking part that is shared by everyone else. Ah well, I accept that it is not for me and I sort of exclude that thought out of my head. I haven't been out partying for nearly four years, now it honestly isn't anything that I think about or miss.

    Congratulations to have taken the things-have-to-be- different-step! I am right there with you - aiming high, take care mrs D! *hugs*