Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I'm not judging you lady!

So far so good on the being-happily-sober-during-the-silly-season front. I've been out to a few parties and gatherings and haven't felt the slightest urge to drink. Sometimes I wonder if people are avoiding me because I'm not drinking but then I think if they are it's their choice and that's fine. Maybe some people do think being sober is lame and therefore I'm lame too.. if that's their opinion then that's their issue and I can't do anything about it.

I did have one woman at a BBQ catch me glancing at her right as she was refilling her glass of bubbles and when she saw me she said "don't look". I didn't even know her! Why didn't she want me to look? Does she think I'm the alcohol police? I'm not the bloody alcohol police I'm a recovering alcoholic!

Having said that I do have to recognise that it's been my choice to go public about my sobriety and to continuously promote recovery online and in the media. I do always try to maintain a tone which is not anti-alcohol but rather pro people like me who can't moderate.

I want to reach people who might be secretly worried about their own drinking, feeling stuck and alone like I was. I want them to know they're not alone. I want to talk to people who are in the early stages of quitting and let them know there's a whole gang of us out there also living alcohol free.

What I don't ever want to do is make people feel bad for drinking or make them think I'm judging or criticising their habits. I'm not because other people's drinking habits are none of my business.

Also - it's impossible to know the truth about someone's drinking just from seeing them out at an event. Maybe that woman filling her glass at the BBQ was having her one big night of the year - good on her! Maybe she drinks more often than that but is totally comfortable with her intake and isn't hurting anyone - good on her! Not my business.

Seriously - I am not in the business of thinking that everyone on the planet needs to quit drinking (but OMG could you image if we lived in that world!). All I want to do is be honest about my own dysfunctional relationship with alcohol because I believe the more we all share honestly the better it is for everyone. I want there to be an honest dialogue about how alcohol isn't a fun, harmless substance for everyone. I want it to be common knowledge there are a lot of humans who struggle to control it, and I want there to be no stigma about that.

And most of all I want anyone who might be considering quitting to know that while it's hard work it's very doable and in the long run so much better!

I shudder to think what my life would be like now if I'd continued on the path I was on. In the year or so before I quit my drinking was escalating at a very fast rate. So by now I would be likely drinking more daily, I would be fatter, more bloated, more cut off from my emotions, more disconnected from my family and less in touch with everything and everyone around me.

Thank goodness that's not the case and I'm now sober and happy in my personal choice to remove alcohol from my life.

I'm just concentrating on me, and I feel great about my decision to put down the bottle 2297 days ago.

Merry Christmas!

Love, Mrs D xxx

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Sad pangs and fancy parties

I had a strange sad pang the other night. I was watching a movie on Netflix and in it there was a big party scene at what looked like a totally fun and amazing rooftop location in New York. It was all fairy lights and hip people and fancy cocktails and groovy music and people having just the best time ever (because that's how it always looks in these super stylised movie scenes), and I suddenly felt really sad that I'm never going to cut loose at a party ever again.

It was a total feeling of sadness. Poor sober me missing out on all those future fun times. Never again will I be throwing caution to the wind and drinking too many champagnes. Never again will I get that naughty twinkle in my eye along with others that I'm indulging and having fun with.

Never again will I numb out, switch off, blur the edges and party the night away.

This sad pang lasted for about two minutes (I flipped the script pretty quickly and reminded myself of all my truths) but it was real and I can remember the feeling even now 3 days later. It didn't totally knock me back and I never even for one nano-second thought about actually drinking any shit booze but the sad pang was there I have to be honest.

Then last night we went to an actual fancy party at a big fancy house. It was a formal cocktail event, invite only with a security guard on the gate checking names off and staff greeting us at the door (Mr D's got the invite through his work). There was a bar in the foyer serving fancy cocktails and then another bar through on the veranda where everyone was standing with non-stop cocktail making going on there as well. Plus waiters were walking around with bottles of bubbles and wine all night. Everyone was dressed up and I had a new frock on which made me feel good.

So it was formal but also quite a loose party with booze flowing, coloured lights and a DJ playing great tunes. The night was buzzing. I took control of my drinks right from the outset and asked for my fizzy water to be served in a champagne flute which was satisfying enough. Later I had a lemon, lime and bitters and finally a ginger beer.

It was interesting to see how the night felt given my sad pang earlier in the week. It actually went fine.

I didn't give a toss that others were boozing, didn't wish I was, didn't feel awkward or uncomfortable. I had nice chats with people, met some nice people, felt fine overall. It was never going to be a complete blinder for me because aside from Mr D I didn't have any loved ones there. No close friends, no family. Not my tribe.

We lasted 4 hours and by then people were starting to dance (which I wasn't really in the mood for) and get a little bit sloppier. Nothing terrible.. but I felt very sober and was ready to go home. My feet hurt a bit and I was all talked out. So Mr D and I said our goodbyes and left.

I drove home, took off my makeup, then slept for 8 hours straight. Woke up this morning with no hangover, no guilt and no sad pangs about my sober lifestyle.

I'm ok with being a non-drinker. I'm ok that I'll never cut loose at a party with booze in my blood. What I have gained in recovery more than makes up for any brief sad pangs that I might have in the future.  I love feeling grounded and connected with myself, my kids, my family and my true friends. I love trusting myself in every scenario. It's all good.

And roof top parties in New York are probably overrated anyway.

Love, Mrs D xxx