Right now –

I have managed another weekend without alcohol

This weekend, in contrast with many others has been HARD. I have had to make conscious decisions that I don’t WANT to drink several times a day; I have been more tempted to drink that I can remember for a LONG time.

This has disappointed me. I didn’t drink, and I’m bloody glad I didn’t, but I’ve had a more social time, and therein, I think lies the problem

On Saturday lunchtime I went out with a group of friends to a lovely restaurant. I have known these people for 15 years or so, and I consider them all friends. Many are also ‘friends’ with my ex husband, and indeed I met them through him. Most didn’t know I stopped drinking 521 days ago. Most will remember the BBQ’s and parties we had at my place where there was ALWAYS lots of alcohol and I was (almost) always drunk.

I drove, which was partly because I could then give a lift to J & K as J is not that mobile, but also partly because it added a layer of protection to my ‘alcohol free armour’ and provided an excuse (should I have wanted to use it) as to why I was not drinking. I actually didnt bother, just said ‘I dont drink’. Everybody else was drinking; red, rose and white wine. It looked delicious, intoxicatingly tempting, the looseness of people’s conversations as they imbibed was obvious to the sober one. I hated that,hated feeling left out, hated feeling different, hated the bloody Diet Coke I was stuck with – wanted to drink (a LOT) -… by the end I was pretty desperate to leave despite the lovely food, and the genuine pleasure of the company of people I love who I don’t get to see often enough…

In the evening a friend came to see me. I knew him when I did my GP training in rural Wales; he was married to a friend of mine. I guess I had a bit of a crush on him at one time; but I would never have done anything about it, as I said he was married to a friend. We used to wrangle cheerfully about politics and as virtually the only two English people in a very Welsh community ,  support one another a bit.

We lost touch when I left Wales, although I knew that his marriage had subsequently broken down. Last year he found me through Facebook and we met on Saturday at my house. It’s silly to say people haven’t changed in almost 20 years, but that is how it felt. We slipped easily back into the friendship we had shared and talked and chatted about our subsequent experiences.

He knew me as a heavy drinker. There is not a lot to DO in rural Wales except drink – and we all did. Saying it out loud ” I don’t drink anymore” was hard. I wanted to drink, I wanted to get a bit pissed, drop my guard a bit, I felt safe and comfortable and I wanted to share the wine – for what reason I don’t really know- but I did so want to.

I’ve done 521 days sober. I’m so proud of that, and I’m so pleased that I didn’t blow it, either time at the weekend. But I’m left feeling  little sad.. moderation doesn’t work for me, I know that. I tried every way. The only answer is to be sober. But I felt the loss of my former self this weekend which I have not done in a while. I felt the loss of sharing wine, or being part of a group, of letting go. I felt the stigma of knowing I CANNOT drink. And oddly I felt the weight of responsibility – knowing that I can never again blame ‘being drunk’ for making unwise decisions. That all my decisions are now made sober, they are undoubtedly better decisions, but its somehow a bit bloody boring.

sorry. I AM glad i didn’t crack. I know what I have achieved through my sobriety. I just feel a bit nostalgic for the impulsive, messier me … which makes no sense at ALL !

 

 

 


3 comments

  1. Lily I completely get this. As you know last week I was on holiday and there were numerous times when I found that I really really wanted a drink – not to block anything out or take the edge off but because it would have been nice and it would have been normal. I wish I could moderate but just like you I can’t. It’s so hard but we both got through and we should feel justifiably proud. I for one am proud of you. Hugs Tori xxx

    Liked by 1 person


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