Tonight I went line dancing with my friend A.
And we. had. a. BLAST.
It was so fun.
Last weekend I went to a Halloween party dressed as “We Found Love Rihanna.” I went with my friend B; it was her friends’ party. I know some of the people at the party, but I hadn’t spoken to them in a while, so I was a little uncomfortable at first.
In that moment, I pictured myself grabbing a drink. That is what I’ve used to get past my shyness/discomfort before.
But I didn’t because I no longer consider drinking to be an option. Instead, I put on my smile, asked people about themselves, and ended up having a total blast totally sober.
About five weeks ago, I quit drinking.
It was a personal decision that I made after being confronted with the long-term effects of alcohol abuse. I also had to admit to myself that I had a relationship with alcohol that could lead to abuse if not put in check immediately.
Because of the situation that forced me to look at those things, I mean REALLY see them,
I quit cold turkey.
A switch flipped and alcohol became, to me, a source of destruction. And I couldn’t continue to destroy myself.
Since then, I have mostly had no problem abstaining from alcohol. Though there are things I miss (like the sensuality of wine, for example), I can honestly say I don’t miss being drunk. And I certainly don’t miss feeling like I embarrassed myself while drunk.
It’s crazy, because there was a time when I was drinking daily. There was a time when I couldn’t imagine myself relaxing and having a good time without alcohol. There was a time when the thought the continuous stretch of sobriety that is quitting drinking scared me.
Since I quit five weeks ago, though, I’ve been able to see more clearly the role drinking played in my life. I’m able to take a sober look at the situations in which an inclination to drink arises, and I’ve been able to take them apart and get to the heart of them.
I’ve also been able to recover one more piece of the little girl I was when I was in middle school–this is very important to me because she is my most true self. Back then, I was a little shy when encountering new situations the same way I am now…but because at age 13 reaching for a drink was not an option, I had no choice but to open up as I got more comfortable with my surroundings. Now that I’m sober, I can see where that tendency still lives in me, and I can see that it’s really not a bad quality. It also doesn’t mean that I can’t relax and enjoy myself. Though alcohol is the social lubricant, and though I sometimes do feel a little awkward not drinking (especially since anyone who has known me socially for the past few years knows me as someone who drinks. A lot), I have used this as an opportunity to show myself that I am the same person sober. I can still have fun. I can still go out and make friends, and if they are the type of friends I want to keep they will respect the fact that I don’t drink.
And so far, all of my friends whom I’ve shared this with have. And nothing has changed between us.
Tonight I went line dancing and I had an absolute blast with nothing to drink but water and O’Douls (not gonna lie, I do miss beer. But I miss the taste, strangely enough, not being drunk). A, who went with me, also did not drink. In the end, we both had a great time, and I felt so much safer coming home.
I felt cleaner and healthier, too.
And renewed in my choice. I don’t need alcohol. I don’t even miss it.