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  • Kim

Going to a Bruins Game Sober

Updated: May 14, 2022

Last night I went to the Bruins game with my son, Brayden, in Boston. He had asked to go for his 11th birthday, and he originally asked Evan to take him. Evan immediately suggested that I go, because I never get to do the fun stuff. (Remember the last puzzle piece situation!) Brayden was excited to go with me, and he didn't mind that Evan suggested his mom takes him instead of the typical father son bonding experience. I am often the one at home cooking and cleaning, and I never get to experience the cool things. I want to do the final puzzle piece every now and again, right?

So, I went. And honestly, I hate to admit it after the stink I made over the puzzle and wanting to be the fun time parent, but I was reluctant to go. I actually didn't really feel like going at all to be truthful, because the entire experience seemed overwhelming to me. I know Evan was being kind, letting me go, but I realized there is a reason why we have our roles. I am an introvert, and I love getting in bed to read early and staying home in my cozy jammies most nights. Evan loves live sporting events - and he loves hockey, he loves the crowds, the energy and all of that. Going into Boston on a Monday night, being surrounded by hundreds of people, was not necessarily my idea of a relaxing, fun evening. But I sucked it up, because it meant spending some quality, one on one time with my oldest. And Brayden was super excited.

I went into the evening with an open, curious mind. I took some deep, meditative breaths, and I napped in the afternoon. Brayden even requested I rest, so I was ready to go - ha! I was anxious about parking, but once we figured that out and got into TD Garden and found our seats, I relaxed a bit. I knew that Brayden was beyond thrilled to be there, so I focused on his happy energy and relaxed into the evening. We watched warmups down by the glass and tried to get a puck from Marchand. We got some delicious pizza and sodas and headed back to our seats as the game began.

This was the first time I have been at a Bruins game, and I wasn't triple fisting extra-large beers. I was really attentive - towards my son and the game. And it was actually a total blast! I really enjoy watching hockey, as my boys play it everyday, so it is fun to watch the professional players. And our seats were fantastic. I have a hard time feeling enthusiastic about Red Sox games, and I struggle to follow football on T.V. But watching live hockey is really very fun.

Sitting in my seat last night beside my son, it dawned on me that in the past, in all the years of coming to Bruins games, I never actually watched the games when I was there. I would constantly be getting up for more beers, using the bathroom because I was drinking so much or distracted because I was drunk. I was always looking to numb myself. Looking to escape through alcohol because that was how I thought I experienced fun, that I was never actually present all those times before. Usually we would pregame too, so I was tipsy before we even arrived. And I realized, I did this because the experience overwhelmed me and I didn't know how to enjoy myself without alcohol. Large crowds in general - they are tough on the introvert too. I THOUGHT I was enjoying myself, chugging beer, taking selfies and posting on instagram. In retrospect, I can look back on that and see - that was not fun at all. I remember one game a few years ago, my mom texted me the next day to ask who won and I genuinely didn't remember because I was so drunk.

Watching Brayden dance for the Jumbotron, cheering beside him and feeling genuinely excited when the Bruins scored brought my joy. Sharing an ice cream with my son - that was fun. I was present and happy the entire night. And I never once wished I could be somewhere else.

I didn't think about wanting a beer to numb or escape. I didn't think about drinking at all, and I didn't long for it whatsoever. It was such a liberating experiencing, knowing that I didn't even have any nostalgia for drinking during a sporting event. I didn't feel like I was missing out on the fun whatsoever. If anything, I felt badly for the drunk girl next to me and her boyfriend who missed the Bruin's second goal - because she kept making him pose for pictures.

I felt free, and today I feel grateful for my sobriety. I am also proud of myself for going to the game and realizing that even though I am a naturally introverted, quiet soul, doing these kinds of things is good for me, and I can still have fun and enjoy them - especially when I am with the people I love.

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