Soda water and Cranberry juice please

Oh and can I have that in a red wine glass please. Thank you.

That’s how the conversation went and that’s what I drank.

But the real truth of the matter here is once again I found myself wanting to say  “fuck it”. I wanted to drink. Short and simple fact is I wanted to drink. And while I’m being honest here, I was pissed off that I couldn’t. Pissed off, frustrated, angry, annoyed and so on.

I said to hubby I’m going to drink tonight. He said “no you’re not”. I, in a slightly pissed off voice , asked why not. His reply – because you don’t want to!

Crap, he’s right. I don’t want to drink but I sure as hell did.

Lets back track a little. We were in Auckland over the weekend with work, big group of us from stores around NZ, for the Eagles concert.

Evening one began with pre dinner drinks. Now I was already wanting to drink so arriving downstairs to waiters at the door with trays of cocktails did little to ease my state of mind. With determined resolve I went up to the bar and was nearly undone by the tray of flutes filled with bubbly just ready for the taking and drinking.

I hung in there though, got chatting and was fine.

Then off to the restaurant we went, apparently one of Auckland’s top restaurants. Once again we were greeted at the door with a tray of flute filled glasses of bubbly. Shit, it was like I was being deliberately set up, challenged to breaking point.

When the lady in front insisted I take the last glass on the tray I smiled and said it’s fine thanks, I don’t drink. And I meant it and it felt good to say it. And I believed it. But……

And up to the bar I went and ordered my cranberry juice and soda water. Well, bloody hell, the bar was laden with bottles of bubbly wine and not just any bubbly wine but MOET! Moet people.

My resolve to stay sober was on full challenge, my commitment to being sober pretty much being tested beyond acceptable limits.

I stuck to my sober drink but my eyes were constantly drawn to the bottles, to the label and to those flutes. I wasn’t doing anxiety at all, but I was doing so pissed off. At everything.

The lovely waitress came up and asked would I like another drink and I ordered my mocktail. I also ordered a flute with a taste of the bubbly wine and emphasized a taste only. She duly came back with the mocktail and a full flute of bubbly. She assured me that while it wasn’t exactly what I ordered I didn’t have to drink it all. Well my fuck it attitude, well hidden by my smile and politeness, was in full position by now so I defiantly picked up that damn full flute and had my sip. Immediately the glass went back on the tray and with a thank you to the waitress I then turned my back to the conversation I had been a part of.

And that was that.

I finally had my taste of Moet. And a taste was all it was. And I was satisfied.

Demons overruled, anger eased, I had won. Again.

I was happy. I didn’t want any more wine. It didn’t bother me anymore. Whew.

And I had a great evening.

And I didn’t get the wobbles on my heels.

And I didn’t get the headspins when I sat on the toilet.

And I didn’t do the self recrimination speech where I chastise myself for drinking to much and for my total lack of self control.

And I woke up that morning feeling well and energised for the day ahead.

Later that day at a late lunch before we all bused to the cconcert that anger rose up again. Arriving at lunch we were once again greeted by trays of wine and beer.  And thankfully orange juice.

Took me a bit to settle that anger back down but I did settle it. At the concert all I had to do was sit there and drinks were brought to me if I wanted them. But I was fine not drinking, it didn’t bother me at all there.

So, 260 days later, I am still sober but it’s fair to say right now I am really struggling. I am finding it hard. Not all the time, here at home it’s not an issue but at these events clearly it is.

These work events, whatever the reason, are very well done and I have always felt special, well looked after, important and that I matter and I have immensely appreciated it and so it was an absolute struggle not to avail myself of what was readily available.

I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it properly.  And I guess I can expect this situation to crop up again with the next event [Long weekend in Rarotonga, and you can bet the booze will be freely available].

I guess then I will have to remind myself of these last couple of times where I was going to do it, I was going to drink and sobriety be damned but I didn’t. I will have to remind myself that I rose up to that challenge and while it was tough I also bested that challenge. I don’t have an issue that I had a sip of that wine, damn I could have imbibed that whole glass but I didn’t. I guess I am stronger than I was feeling. And I guess I will have to remind myself that while it’s hard I did it, I got through it without any scarring and the truth of the matter is that I continued to have a really neat time.

And equally there was a lot of people around me who weren’t’ drinking or weren’t drinking much. I didn’t’ stand out and all that struggle was within me only. There was no external pressure.

In 5 days I will be 100 days counting down to 1 whole year sober, it’s an amazing goal to strive for and 260 days ago it was too far away to even consider. But I am nearly there.

It’s hard sometimes and I wish it wasn’t.

I really wish it wasn’t.

It’s good to talk about it though and get it off my chest.


4 thoughts on “Soda water and Cranberry juice please

  1. Wow Gael, I hadn’t realised you were struggling. it is such a pity we didn’t catch up isn’t it, it sounds like you could have done with it. well done anyway on your resolve, don’t give up!!!


  2. Do you have real life sober support?
    If not, maybe it’s time to check that out….

    Big events will be hard for a while. I’ve been surprised by how well some go-I went to a fancy gala and was really happy to be sober, yet other times even a meet up with friends at a lounge seems overwhelming.

    Finding the balance is tricky.


  3. No I don’t have real life sober support, never felt I really needed it but it’s a good thought. I’m fine now I’m back home but as you say some of these big events can be hard.


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