How I Survived Another Saturday Night Without Alcohol
Last weekend, we had a party for a friend's 40th birthday. I was really excited to celebrate this person, as she has been such a supportive individual throughout my sober journey. She herself does not drink either, but she loves to have a good time. She wanted a themed party that included a DJ and lots of dancing.
The theme was prom. I interpreted that as 80s prom and got a massive bright pink tulle skirt. It was so fun. Some people really went all out while others (like my husband) played it safe. This wasn't my first event sober. I have been to many evenings out to at this point. I have been to weddings, bridal showers, holiday parties, birthday dinners and many other types of celebrations. This by far was the easiest though.
I felt like this was one evening that I was actually excited about attending, and I didn't have to drag myself out the door. I didn't feel anxious going into it, and it may have been the first time in months that I was really excited to get dressed up. I didn't worry about how to carry myself walking into the room and I felt confident holding my seltzer. I didn't worry about people judging me for my sobriety.
I had a great time dancing with my friends and just let loose. I didn't worry about what I looked like and the fact that I wasn't drunk. I just had fun. Perhaps, it helped that I had two of my sober besties there with me by my side, but in the past, I used to get hammered before hitting the dance floor. The bottom line is, you don't need alcohol to dance. Anyone and everyone can do it - no one knows or cares if you are drinking, everyone is just focused on themselves anyway!
Ultimately, I believe that comfort in situations like these comes with knowing oneself. It takes a tiny bit of freedom. A bit of confidence. A bit of letting go. I have let my guard down a great deal over the last year and a half, and I have allowed myself to be vulnerable. It takes a some time to feel comfortable in large social situations when you are sober, and that is okay. Show yourself a little compassion. Give yourself some grace if you need to pass on that party this weekend. Maybe you will be ready for the next one.
But remember. You cannot be courageous without being vulnerable. You cannot grow without being vulnerable. And you cannot find intimacy without being vulnerable either. Through all of this, that is where true authenticity is born.