Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sobriety date...

Had a farewell lunch with a bunch of girlfriends yesterday.  9 of us went to a tapas restaurant in town. Was really lovely and fun.  Low-key and sweet and a little bit sad.  There was a moment after we first arrived when drinks were being ordered and I felt a bit of a pang that I wasn't having wine with the rest of them.  There was some talk of 'cocktails and mocktails' but that idea got abandoned and they went for a Sav Blanc instead and I ordered a homemade lemonata.

I always seem to find it a little bit hard at that moment when the drinks are first being ordered or poured.  When the energy in the room changes and there's a fissure of excitement - alcohol is entering the room! - excitement mixed with a little naughtiness and fun.  I feel a bit awkward and don't know what to say or kind of where to look and inside of me I feel sad.  I worked pretty hard yesterday at pushing that thought away and sure enough 15 minutes later when the drinks were all out and we had moved on into just chatting and looking at menus and I didn't care that my glass wasn't filled with wine.

They had 2 bottles between 8 of them so it was hardly a boozy lunch.  If I'd have been drinking I would have suggested 'Bubbles!!' to start with and then wine probably.  I would have gone home with a little buzz on and gone on to drink a bottle or more at home.  I keep reminding myself about that.  How if I started drinking when out I would head home with only the thought of continuing drinking at home.  Once I started I wouldn't stop.  There was lots of sad determined drinking done in the home.  It might not have looked sad from the outside but I think of it as extremely sad.

I don't want to slip into complacency when it comes to my sobriety.  I think of my brain as a muscle which is going to keep needing to be exercised to remember why I gave up, and how dysfunctional my drinking was, in the last few years especially.

I went on a great crafty website yesterday and bought myself a lovely silver pendant that you could get personalized on the back.  I asked them to put "6 September, 2011" on it, which is my sobriety date.  I'm still taking this really seriously.  I think the more time that goes on and the more used to living sober I am the more active I have to stay in my resolve to stay off the booze.  I'm reminding myself in the mornings how I used to feel when hungover, and am taking the time to pause and breath and think about my body and my mind and how clear it is.  How differently I would feel right now if I were chugging back the wines like I used to (especially with all this stress associated with the move, I can't believe in 2 weeks everything will change).

Next thing to think about .. what do I say to all the new people I am going to meet about why I don't drink?

Love, Mrs D xxx


  1. I'm always amazed at how anyone beats this addiction (alcohol) with it being so damned "acceptable" . . . and so in your face. Everytime I watch a soap here in Britain people are knocking back the booze. And then on sunny days like today the neighbours calling out to one another "fancy a beer?" . . . I always imagine what if they were calling "fancy some gear?" and what if everyone on TV was "getting the foil/needles out" . . . Sorry for such a long comment, but really Mrs D, I'm amazed at your strength and resolve to stay sober in the midst of all this booze, Good for you! and yes, it's a good idea to remember how crap we used to feel in the morning.
    It's crazy isn't it, that you even have to think about what you're going to say about why you don't drink? Madness.
    Take good care Mrs D . . . You'll find a good answer x

  2. Maybe we should get tattoos of our sobriety date, it might make us think a little harder about having to start over. Picture in your mind a row of crossed out dates moving down your right arm and then your left and then the thighs. I wonder when I will stop envying those people that can have a couple of glasses of wine at lunch or a cold beer after mowing the grass. I still would if I could, but I can't. The trade-off of a sense of well-being is well worth it though.

    1. For some reason this reminds me of the Scarlett letter. Not drinking makes me feel like I have a big A attached to me. I also look in wonder how someone can enjoy a cocktail or 2 and be done. I also envy those who are not alcoholics but choose not to drink. Although their judgements can be harsh. I've heard many times, just snap out of it. I wish it was that easy.

  3. "Alcohol is entering the room!". Too funny! Glad you had a nice time after that initial weird moment!

    Love the pendant idea!


  4. I tattooed my date on my right wrist just for that reason...because it would be a bitch to have to keep crossing it out and putting a new date on it. At first when people asked I'd say it was just a special date, but now I just say it the day I stopped drinking. Funny thing is, what I thought people would think was waaaay worse than what really happens. No one really cares!

  5. Love the pendant idea Mrs D. I am coming up to two years, I will think of something similar. I don't want to forget the date.

    With a new set of people it should be easy. People have all sorts of reasons for not drinking you don't have to explain. Or even say you don't drink alcohol. Just order your soft drink without comment. If anyone does ask just say alcohol doesn't agree with you. If they push further say it upsets your digestion or you are on a diet. I doubt if most people will be interested.

    I met one of my old drinking buddies yesterday. I haven't seen him for a while. He was always slovenly wrg to personal appearance but he looked gross yesterday. His skin was grey and had unhealed blemishes and looked dirty although he had probably washed (hair clean).

    Shortly after I stopped drinking I got a lot of comments about how much better I looked from people who had no knowledge of my drinking problem. And I was always careful about personal hygiene and presentation. It is terrible how this disease degrades us.

    Like you, if I went out for a lunch where there was alcohol I would carry on all day and all evening. I might not have much in public (keeping up appearances!) but would try and make sure I kept the rest of the day and evening free so I could drink in private.

    What a waste of time.

  6. Great blog! I'm not doing it the usual way either.

  7. That's the whole problem... having just a couple of drinks when out 'n about only leads me to buy more wine and to drink it all once at home.

    Gosh... I am so fed up with that! Every ounce of energy wasted on drinking, every free minute of the day wasted on alcohol - makes me so tired just thinking about the old obsession.

    Life certainly isn't a dance on roses, but it sure is sweet to live with an unclouded mind.

    It is no one's business to know why you don't drink, one can simply say you just don't feel like drinking. That you've chosen to exclude alcohol from your life... or whatever really.

    If it is someone I care about who wants to know, I will tell them the truth. It's extremely liberating to have that out in the open and not having to mumble about the whole thing. Us sober alkies cannot afford keeping stuff secret, it may give us a guilty conscience or bother us in any other way and may be that final alcoholic straw that brakes the camel's back ;-)

    Big hug to you mrs D

  8. I love the necklace idea...such a personal way of remembering your date. I understand 100% the feeling of the drinks being ordered. So many people admire you, me included, and I'm sure many people envy your strength and you don't even know it. Congratulations!

  9. We are both September-sober people! I also got a tattoo on my wrist to remind myself that I won't drink no matter what, although it doesn't have the date on it. Like you, I find myself having to think through the drink a little more than I used to, especially with warmer weather. Thanks for the reminder of what would happen if I indulged.

  10. I just say off-handedly, "No thanks, I don't drink. " People let it go usually. One person said : "Not at all?" And I said "Nope". The only reply back was : "That's probably a good idea." End of story. Anyone who keeps pushing is likely a person to be avoided. But it is true how ubiquitous alcohol is.

  11. Boy Mrs D, I have been reading your blog from the start and this is the post that I was on today...3 wks today for me...and boy did it hit home for me. Last night we went out for the first time with friends since I quit. I had my first incident of being the only one NOT ordering a drink. I am not quite ready to open up to everyone about my problem so I used the 'dieting' excuse which is not even a lie. I am back on Weight Watchers as well as giving up my wine habit. I totally can relate to that first drink order awkwardness. I was a bundle of nerves in my stomach. The couple we were with, well the hubby loves his drinks and started with 'Oh come on, have a drink! Come on, you look great! etc etc...But I said "Nope none for me' After that, all was fine and I enjoyed really being able to concentrate on the conversation! Meanwhile our friend had 4 drinks...a martini, a beer, a wine, and then a cognac! My hubby and his wife didn't have as much. I really enjoyed it and am so glad that 'first' was over!!! Yay me! Yay YOU Mrs D!!!