We’re about to head away for two weeks of socialising, imbibing, eating, gift giving, interacting, gift receiving, eating, celebrating, travelling around, mixing and mingling, camping, catching up, swimming, did I mention eating?, and reconnecting.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
But also happy. Happy to be getting away from our normal environment and routines. To be catching up with beloved friends and family. Happy to be spending quality time with Mr D and the three D Juniors. And happy knowing that I’m going to be sober throughout.
Oh my goodness could you imagine all of that busyness with a whole lot of booze thrown on top of it? Now THAT makes me feel utterly exhausted. Goodness only knows how I used to manage my life and drink like a fish every day. What a mad woman I was…
Mad and stuck and miserable and addicted and deluded. I believed that drinking alcohol every day was an ordinary and acceptable thing to do. Hooey! I was convinced that drinking alcohol was the best way to celebrate, bond with people, and relax. Balderdash! I gave alcohol all the power to make events fun and to make me social and interesting. Bollocks!
It sounds flippant and easy when I say that, but it wasn’t. It took a lot of hard work to turn things around. I had to really dig deep to beat cravings and get through every day without touching my beloved wine. I also had to get right inside my mind to shift my thinking by challenging every hard-wired belief I had about booze.
I clung to the belief that it was possible to live happily as a sober person. Other people had gone from being miserably addicted to being free and breezy and alcohol-free. I didn’t know how they did it or how long it took or what it was like… But I knew (in a vague and abstract way) that it was possible. So I clung on to that belief and told myself that eventually I would get there too. Even when it was hard as hell, I told myself it was possible to learn how to live happily as a sober person. It will get better and easier I told myself. It will get better and easier.
And slowly over time it did. Each party, BBQ, birthday, anniversary, family holiday, Christmas and New Year’s I got through without drinking taught me something. Slowly I gained knowledge, adjusted my mindset, relaxed, and settled into my new sober skin. And eventually sober became my new norm.
It’s been over five years now since I last touched alcohol and I’m one hundred percent comfortable with that. I’m confident heading away for our upcoming holiday that I won’t have to fight any alcohol cravings while we’re busy socializing. Nor will I worry about what other people think of me not drinking. What other people think of me is none of my business and I know my truth, which is: I am infinitely happier and more grounded in myself now that I’m not necking wine daily. like I used to.
And while we’re away I’ll be particularly appreciating the early mornings. After a lifetime of hellish, hungover wake-ups racked with regret, starting the day feeling fresh and guilt free is ace.
I’m ready to go. My teabags are packed. My recovery community is just a mouse click away. Sober Silly Season here I come!