First outing, in more ways than one... December 27, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I had my first event out with friends last night, which was the paddle party at our club. And it ended up being pretty enjoyable. I brought my own seltzer, and I came prepared mentally ready to duck out whenever I got uncomfortable. It was absolutely freezing cold, so I immediately got on the paddle courts and began to play with a group of ladies, which was a good distraction for me.
The conversation felt easy and natural with the people I chatted with, most of them knowing nothing about my situation and few of them being close friends. After playing for a bit, we chatted around the fire pit and had some food. I didn't feel the need to cling to Evan either which was reassuring.
I figured everyone would notice that I wasn't drinking and would make comments, take note, etc. But that definitely was not the case. I didn't feel like people were staring at my empty hands at all. What I did notice was that everyone else stayed relatively sober, or rather no one else was chugging wine by the cup full, like I would have been. If this was a month ago, by the time we left at around 9:30pm, I would have been wasted. The night would have gone like this: I would have had a few drinks at home before we left at 6pm, showed up tipsy, thrown back several drinks over the course of the evening while playing and likely left pretty drunk by 10/11pm, way later than we left last night. Instead, I didn't notice anyone drinking heavily, just quietly sipping the same drink for a while. I didn't see people even drinking wine. I definitely would have brought two bottles of rose just for myself if this was a month ago.
I wondered at first if people were all in on the secret and knew that I was newly sober and trying to keep it toned down for me. But then I realized - no! This is just how normal people drink, and I was always just too drunk to notice before!
And then my other "outing." ... One of my oldest and dearest friends discovered my new instagram account. So now I am officially beginning to "out" myself and my new sober identity. It is frightening, but at the same time I feel like I am able to breath a little by letting my friends know about this journey. They all keep telling me that they are proud of me, and that gives me strength to keep going.
Oh and today marks 28 days sober - so that's kind of big too...