One of the first things that worried me about going sober was what if I miss out, how can I celebrate stuff, am I going to have to miss events and sit at home crying into my Nosecco!?! Am I going to be lonely, what will happen to my friendships, will I lose them?
Very soon after stopping drinking my sister got married. My first wedding! I was there obviously all day and night around everyone drinking. The reality was I enjoyed every single minute; I was fully present, didn’t make a dick of myself and could celebrate the whole of the occasion without having to be carried home after an hour of arriving. I did take my own alcohol free fizz and still raised a toast to the bride and groom like everyone else. This made me realise very quickly that a sober Christmas, New Year, Birthdays and other celebrations were completely doable too. I did them all….and survived!
Holidays were something I wasn’t particularly looking forward to tackling; it was always a time to kick back and relax. That always always involved copious amounts of alcohol previously, but from much earlier in the day, which meant I was even more ridiculous than normal. So throughout this year me and Pete went away for the odd night, I even did a couple of girlfriend’s nights away, but when it came to a family holiday this year with others who would be drinking, I thought it would be much more difficult. It actually wasn’t, I was passed the whole “am I missing out stage?” the answer was no, I had a great time!
So I used to always to drink whatever the occasion, so it wasn’t only the good stuff, I used to drink when I’d had a rough stressful day too. I was an expert at self-medicating. So now when I have a day like this I either keep myself busy, but with good stuff like running or being with friends, OR I actually take time out and do something relaxing and see if I can switch off with yoga or mindfulness exercises. I had to work out for myself how to deal with all the stressful shit, because in reality it’s still there some days. This could have quite easily been my downfall.
So I’m 12 months sober today, am I missing out? Sat here with Pete in our beach hut that he hired overlooking the sea, with cards and gifts and an abundance of messages and well wishes, watching the world go by, all without a care in the world. “Am I missing out? I think not!”
Thank you to you all for the support and friendship over the past 12 months and the love today.