It’s been a few days since I last posted, nothing big and dramatic has occurred in that time, just lots of little things that accumulate into Aha moments. As I look out of my office the sun is leaving my place but still continues to shine on the Forest which surrounds us and on the Mountain Range tops, a subtle reminder that there are bigger things than me and yet I have my place in this world.
So, I had my first official social event on Saturday night, a friends 50th. We stayed over so no sober driver excuse up my sleeve. And actually I was okay with that, I was okay with my sober drinks and my special wine glass. I did have a moment, a pang of regret and longing, as a bottle of Lindeur walked in holding hands with someone else but it was only fleeting and I moved on with no lasting damage. I had a great night, occasionally surprising myself with how relaxed and social I was, how chatty and funny I was and how not drinking just wasn’t an issue. I guess that with most people not really drinking that much either it was easy. And then it happened……memory pop. A memory of being one of the only ones drinking at a house warming recently for my son and how I felt embarrassed, like something was wrong with me and shame, oh yes shame and I are well acquainted. I couldn’t stop though and so I was a little edgy and so not relaxed. Such a difference.
My special wine glass was a red neck wine glass, purchased in Canada. Quite a novel thing really, like half an agee jar on a big stem. Even comes with the lids. Another friend was quite intrigued with it and me drinking out of it [not concerned with what I was drinking] and he decided to nickname me jam jar. And so I became Jam Jar for the rest of the evening. I easily took it in the humour it was intended and quite enjoyed the fun of it all. Memory pop number 2, with drink in me I tend to question at the time or post drinking event in my head, times when I have felt insecure at peoples comments. Am I drinking to much, are they hinting at my drinking, am I being stupid which follows into the what is wrong with me mind state. So again a welcome difference, I didn’t have to question anything because I wasn’t drinking, I was in full awareness of myself.
Memory pops happen a lot these days. Triggered by something I’ve read or been thinking about. I’m currently reading Jason Vale [Kick The Drink Easily] and he talks about how liking the taste of alcohol is a brain washing myth [maybe not those words exactly] and initially I thought he was wrong on that one. I love the taste of wines, Baileys is a mouth watering favourite [or at least was]. But – memory pop – I remembered as a young in the pubs underage teenager drinking black Russians. Not because I liked them, I hated the taste of Kahlua but because it was so cool and I was so cool doing it. And I discovered if I drank the first one quickly I couldn’t taste the Kahlua after that. Great fun. And it was fun back then, I never drank through the week, never was drunk and never worried about my drinking. But I can clearly see how and why alcohol is such an acceptable drug and very much an expected one in our society.
Which leads me onto another of Jason Vales comments. “We never needed alcohol before we started drinking: the need arose afterwards.” Again as a teenager I can remember going to the rugby club cabarets with a group of friends. I never drank then and I always had a blast. Lots of talking, laughing, singing and dancing. All achieved totally sober. In fact I can recall a few times [memory pops] going up to the bar for my lemonade and the barman giving it to me free just ‘cos he could. Ahh, those were the days that’s for sure.
So, maybe another tool for my sober tool box. When I yearn for a drink or mourn I will never do it again or mourn how I will not have my first summer in this new home on the balcony with a wine and all those other me who likes to drink thoughts I can pull out a memory pop of how much fun I did use to have without it. And I still love doing those same things, singing, dancing and talking with friends.
I may be a jam jar but thus far I am a successful jam jar. I am honouring my commitment to myself to live a sober life and remembering all the reasons why I want to. I’ve never noted down why I should stop, focusing on that sends wrong signals out to the universe. Noting how I will benefit is so much more encouraging and positive.
Now, if I have a need to visit a Dr I really truly hope they will ask me do I drink and how much?!! And I will say ‘Oh no, I don’t drink”.
Sober is the new fun.
Day 29 and all is well.
Love and Laughter