With sobriety becoming a normal part of everyday life and the monotony of Covid-existence, it had been a loooOoong time since I had a sober first. This one I expected would prove to be very challenging, as I had never been sober on a vacation to the beach before (beach and evening drinks went together like ramalamalamakadingadadingadongg—i.e., were inseparable—in my mind) and had never spent more than a few hours in a row with my “in-laws” (my boyfriend’s parents), who are lovely people but whom I don’t know that well (also, as I am leaving the country forever in a couple of months, I anticipated things might be a bit strange, but on the contrary, everyone was SO sweet).
Long story short, it was great. How refreshing to spend time in a family where people don’t open the first bottle of wine before lunch! How new to observe that on most evenings, everyone was drinking water, and perfectly content! Sure, the dad had a couple of beers before dinner, but the great majority of us (there were 6 people in total) weren’t drinking. One evening, they opened a bottle of champagne for the uncle’s birthday, and only 3 people out of 6 partook. My lovely boyfriend didn’t take a single sip of alcohol during our whole stay. I felt supported, but I also don’t even think he did it for me.
In my own family this is inconceivable.
So this was a first for me, not merely in the sense of “wow I survived a new experience without drinking” but also of, “wow, turns out people can enjoy these things without needing a drink, that’s actually an option”. It was real-life reframing, happening right there in front of my eyes.
I’ve been back (and back to work) for a few days already now, but this little escapade really helped refresh every cell in my body, mind and soul. Every single part of me savored the fresh air, the breeze, the waves and the ocean sunsets. It made me feel grateful to be sober and realize that life doesn’t need anything added to it. In those precious moments, everything is already perfect.