I’ve been sober for 6 days, and already I’ve done a bunch of random stuff that took me out of my comfort zone: I attended an evangelist fundraiser for kids in Zambia (that was easy cause the evangelist people don’t drink, there was no alcohol served – haha), I’ve worked as a hostess for a bike-powered smoothie gig (which involved cheering people on as they pedal to make their own smoothies in a mall for 5 hours), I managed to somehow catch a cold, I broke up then made up with my partner, I overcame my shame and went to a dermatologist to start a new treatment for adult acne. And last but not least, I set myself a longer-term goal that implies overcoming some serious fear:
In another AF community I’m part of they make you book a physical challenge so you’re working towards a goal and have a “reason” to stay sober. Most people chose to run half marathons or whatever, but I personally HATE running, so I decided to pick something that has been on my mind for a couple of years and is still the main obstacle in my yoga practice: my intense FEAR OF HANDSTANDS. I used to be able to do them against a wall a few years ago, but I guess my fear has increased with age, and these days even the “against the wall” handstand feels like too much. I’m thinking, if I don’t start now I’m NEVER going to be able to do this. So I set up a rug again a wall in my living room as a practice space, and made one pathetic attempt that failed. But at least I have something to work with and improve. Let’s see how this goes, maybe in 3 months I’ll have made some progress 🙂
Tomorrow evening I have my first serious social event and “challenge” situation: my university’s welcome reception cocktail party. I have already mentioned to a few friends (including those present during my embarrassing binge on the evening before Day 1 – see “Day 2, here we go”) that I’m on a “sobriety challenge”. I’m feeling a bit nervous, as this is typically the kind of situation in which I used to believe that alcohol was necessary in order to survive. I suffer from a bad case of impostor’s syndrome in the academic setting, and alcohol used to take the edge off of the awkward conversations with my colleagues and faculty members. This time I will try to remember that 90% of people in academia suffer from similar anxieties and are awkward people in the first place, and that there is nothing wrong with me. That sober-Anne is good enough and smart enough to deal with the people and the chit-chat for a couple of hours while sipping sparkling water. And most of all, that once she has made an appearance and fulfilled her duty, sober-Anne is wise enough to just get out of there if sh**t gets too boring or unbearable.
What are some of the challenges you’re learning to face without liquid courage these days ?
Whatever it is, keep going!