Well, I am on Day 26 today. I backed off the blog for a few days due to the holiday. Honestly, when I write, I expend a great deal of energy, and this past weekend/holiday, I needed to save all the energy I could to combat the forces of evil. 🙂
As with any new experience, I like to reflect on what I may have learned or gained from the time. Boy, I sure do have one warped sense of reality. I have fooled myself over the years- and pretty convincingly I might add- of the ways of the holidays around family. Since being sober, I am interested in the new perspective I am gaining.
One of the most important lessons I gained is that I CAN stay sober on the holidays; in fact, I am amazed at how many conversations I was able to enjoy because I didn’t forget mid-sentence what I was talking about, or make a poor excuse to walk away so I could pour another drink when no one was paying attention. One of the more interesting occurrences is the fact that I had always perceived that EVERYONE drank and drank most often to excess. Sadly, for me, this is not accurate. In my drunken stupor I thought everyone was drunk; the truth is my family and friends barely drank at all.
Another misconception I had was that I would be bombarded by people offering me drink after drink and I would have to give an excuse each time. Again, not true. I had a plastic cup with cranberry juice that I kept full and very chilled with ice. Not once was I asked if I wanted a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail. I suppose I really thought highly of myself that I believed everyone in the room was concerned with me. 🙂
I had myself so worked up about who was going to notice I wasn’t drinking that I had my stomach in knots; had a backup story all planned, and my keys left in my ignition for a quick getaway. (All part of a larger plan in case I hadn’t imagined these things which are VERY important. I would never suggest not having a plan.) A large part of the holiday allure for me was excessive, reckless drinking. If I spoke out of turn, I could later apologize and blame the booze. I had imagined everyone would “get” that because after all, we were all inebriated.The harsh reality is I was probably the only one who drank to excess during the holidays.
In the meantime, I went to several meetings, talked a little and listened a lot. The sense of community was overwhelming; I found the interactions between old members and new to be so spirited, genuine, and loving. When I did speak, I made mention that I skipped the whole pink cloud, and that I just have a plain cloud. I’m not sure if I am a born skeptic, if I am being negative, or if I don’t feel being sober is remarkable because of all the pain I have caused to those around me. Or, maybe it isn’t any of these things. I have a hard time taking kudos for doing something I should have done a long time ago. Maybe this is one of those times when my inner demon rears its head and is taunting me. “You aren’t worth it. Why do you think you need to be congratulated?”
Not sure exactly. But the beautiful thing is, today, I don’t have to be sure exactly. Heck, I don’t even have to be sure. All I have to do today is not drink.