"When was the last time you woke up and wished you'd had just one more drink the night before? I have never regretted not drinking. Say this to yourself, and you'll get through anything." - Meredith Bell
This is a good reminder. I have been hangover free for 18 days and it feels damn good. It was another productive day and the kids were even home because of a snow day. They were on zooms most of the day, which allowed me some time to read by the fire, but I am realizing that lately my positive energy and happy vibes have been fading after lunch as the day goes on. This is especially true when my kids are home with me during these remote weeks. It is hard to maintain the positivity and keep my spirits up when they are nagging, fighting and barely give me an inch all day. It is hard to focus on healing myself when I can barely think with all the screaming, demanding and meal prepping. So, this week has been hard. My energy has been low, and my mood - not the best.
A friend texted me today that she is planning a paddle party for December 26th, and she was about to send an email to our entire group of friends. This is one of my few friends that is in the know of what is happening with me right now - and she was trying to be kind by giving me time to prepare myself and to make a plan. I honestly don't know how I feel about this party. Do I even want to go? Am I ready to share this new sober part of myself with my friends? Do I need to tell anyone? I go back and forth any given moment between wanting to scream from the rooftop about my new found sobriety and then wanting to hide under my covers away from everyone.
How will I feel being in my first major social situation, at the club none the less, which was one of my major drinking venues? Will I suddenly, after weeks of abstaining, want a drink? (This is a jarring thought!) Will I not even think about booze? Will I want to cling to Evan? Will people stare at me and notice? Then I try to remind myself that I can just focus on the paddle aspect - which is physical activity (yes!), and I don't have to get caught up standing around drinking. I am likely more hyper aware of my non-drinking than anyone else anyway. Most people won't even notice that I don't have a beer in hand. But what if I am offered a drink? Cue the awkward response. It is a constant back and forth of worry in my mind. I hear all the voices from the podcasts I have listened to over the past few weeks, and I am reminded that I shouldn't even be putting myself in these social situations within the first 30 days of sobriety. So maybe I should just say no. On the other hand, there is that tiny, little party animal in the back of my mind, still desperate to be part of it all, never to be excluded, that makes me feel like I am missing out.
I highlighted a quote from the book, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober. "I've traveled from being distraught that I couldn't drink anymore, from wistfully glancing over my shoulder, to finally seeing drinking as a total waste of time, to being elated that I never have to drink again, and charging ahead into my sober future. The longer you're sober and the better you feel, both physically and mentally, the more will you will think 'I deserve not to drink' rather than 'I deserve a drink.'" This reminds me that being comfortable with my sobriety in front of my group of friends isn't necessarily going to happen the first time I go out with them. At the same time, this may not happen right now either, maybe not until I am entirely happy and comfortable, both mentally and physically.
On the other hand, Mrs. D said from, Mrs. D is Going Without, "Remember, you stop drinking, not living. Once the poison has left your mind and body completely, it will not matter if it's the new year, your birthday or a holiday, as you simply will not miss the drink. You will be able to celebrate just like you used to with dancing, good company, fireworks, good friends, laughter, having a blast. The difference will be that you will remember the entire evening and will wake up feeling refreshed and alive." She reminds me that it might actually be fun, I just need to try it and experience it. And the lack of hangover, memory of the evening and waking up feeling better than you did the day before are actually the best parts.
Today, I don't feel distraught that I can't drink. I currently don't have cravings, and I know I will feel great waking up the next morning. I am anxious about if that will change when we arrive at DCPC. Also, I'm anxious about how I will act, my own insecurities and ripping the band-aid off for my first sober excursion. It is a naked, exposed sort of feeling - putting yourself out there. Am I ready?