Granted, it wasn’t mine, but hey, it was a party, and I made it through 100% sober, easily!
It felt fine for several reasons:
- 1. I had planned ahead and gone through the motions in my mind beforehand. Alcohol was simply not an option and there was no room for internal struggle or negotiation. Which makes everything SO much easier.
- 2. My friend turned 36 yesterday. I remember going to her birthday party 5 years ago. Back then, we all got smashed and did cocaine and stayed up until 6 in the morning and I didn’t even have that much fun. I remember feeling bored and like the drinking and drugs were the only “mildly interesting” thing going on. We were all miserable sods. Fast forward five years, and the theme of this party was “The Great British Baking Show” (is that different than the great British Bake Off? I haven’t watched telly in a while). Everyone was supposed to bake a cake and three people including the birthday girl composed a jury who ranked our masterpieces after careful deliberation and a hilariously thorough tasting ceremony. Long story short, we seem to have grown up a bit and calmed down a lot. I pointed this out to my friend and she said “yeah, nobody is getting drunk this year, we’re too old for that”.
- 3. And it’s true! Although I did feel a tiny little pang of “missing out” as I initially arrived and the hostess starting handing out mugs of mulled wine, and people were a little bit uptight and awkward as they can be in the first hour or so of a social gathering, I got myself one of those gigantic red plastic cups that you see in American teen movies and went over to the fridge to fill it with water (thank you American fridges who magically dispense ice and cold water ad infinitum). And then, I began to look around and actually pay attention to the people there (which I never would have done had I been drinking and focusing my attention on, well, drinking…) and lo and behold: many people were also drinking water. I didn’t even have to justify turning down alcohol or mentioning my “alcohol free journey” or whatever. Being sober was a perfectly acceptable option apparently. Wow!
- So I gathered my sober courage and began to break the ice with people (I only knew a handful of them and it was interesting to interact with complete strangers with only my charming personality to rely on^^). As the evening progressed, to my utter surprise, I noticed that ZERO people were very drunk. People were calm and civilized. Nothing like what this would have been a few years ago. Or perhaps -gasp- nothing like what I used to think a party was supposed to be: people as drunk as me. Now that the alcohol haze has been lifted a bit, I am able to see that not everyone drinks as much as I used to, and as I thought they did. This truly is a discovery for me. My behavior was not “normal” in the sense that everyone didn’t/ doesn’t engage in it. (And when I think about my family, I realize that opening a bottle of wine at 11 am every day is definitely not normal either)
- Best of all: I had fun! After the baking competition results (in which I was awarded a very honorable 4th place), an Irish guy whose banoffee pie was all sloppy and his Norwegian friend who made 3rd place with a chocolate mousse cake kept going back and forth with their hilarious banter and I just couldn’t stop laughing. Then I realized something I read in some quit lit somewhere: the “drunken good times” are often just good times to which you add drunkenness. But unlike what we imagine, the drinking isn’t necessarily an essential component of them. Take away the drinking and you can access the good time in itself, as it were, and you don’t need to add anything to it to enjoy yourself. Here was reality “as it is” = a bunch of silly humans sharing the same space and laughing. No artificial ingredients added. And it was great 🙂
And today I woke up hangover free (I forget what a hangover even feels like now!). I feel grateful this morning, for these simple things. My birthday is in January – I wonder what that’ll be like. I definitely want to throw a party.
Oh and yesterday I received this email from my ex, who is visibly struggling to understand the concept of no contact, and appears to be thinking only of his own feelings. Or in any case, who is NOT helping me move on with a breakup that HE wanted.
After the initial urge to go and give him that hug (saviooooor to the rescue!!!!), I paused. And then a wave of anger hit me. [What a selfish baby! How many times have I “wanted a hug” in the last couple of weeks – but I don’t go crying to him to fix my hungry ghost feelings! Does he not realize how much pain I have been in lately? F***k that shit 🙂 ]
(I guess anger is a step forwards from grief ? )
Anyway, I didn’t respond.
From yesterday I am choosing to remember that I had a really good time with myself and others. That I am able to build a life that I love, and that the way to do that is through my actions.
That’s all folks!
Hang in there everyone ! xoxo