Today I feel a little more stabilized from the residual anxiety I was feeling after the weekend, but all I can really focus on is this damn cold that is lasting forever. Woke up with a terrible sore throat, and was busy all day at work. Had to be productive today, with several deadlines closing in. Busy enough and sick enough that drinking hasn’t really crossed my mind, aside from a brief moment of anguish as I was thinking of some friends we hadn’t seen in a while. My mind instantly went to all the fun nights we’ve had with them just having dinner and making our way through bottles of wine and laughter. Sigh. I found it nearly impossible to imagine how I’d enjoy myself being the only sober one.
What I have to really do here is try and slowly unravel the intertwined definitions of fun and drinking. I know it’s possible to have fun without drinking… right? I mean, I read all of you fellow sober bloggers saying that this is true, or can be true. I certainly remember, as a teenager, feeling like I would never be one of those people who couldn’t have fun without alcohol. But somehow I absolutely grew to simply accept that fun = drinking and that’s that. And it’s not just me, all my friends are the same. Which makes me wonder if I subconsciously surrounded myself with other fairly heavy drinkers, or if it’s just coincidence, or if it’s just pervasive and not everyone finds it to be an issue? I read a lot on these blogs that people feel they can’t drink “normally,” or like their friends do. For me, it’s that I DO drink like my friends do. Or at least, I imagine they all drink like I do. (Pretty sure I’m right for the most part.) It’s just, for them it’s fine. Do they just recover more quickly? Or do they really drink less than I think? Or, is it possible that some of them do reflect on it and feel some of the negative effects I do, they just haven’t faced it yet?
Probably the reason I was so irritated by non-drinkers before. I didn’t want anything to make me reflect on my own drinking. I couldn’t imagine being one of those people who I saw as hung-up, overreactionary, holier-than-thou, self-righteous, snobs. Yep, that’s what I thought. If I encountered a non-drinker at the party who didn’t have the only valid excuse in my mind, being pregnant, I instantly judged them and probably tried to avoid hanging around them for too long so that I wouldn’t get stuck in the land of no fun.
My Dad is sober, for eight and a half years now. Last year, when he came over for dinner, I chugged three glasses of wine before he and my mom came over just so I could deal with the fact that we wouldn’t be having wine with dinner. That’s what makes me the “fun” one, obviously. Definitely one of those moments that made me take a look at myself, especially because I brushed my teeth twice before my husband got home so he wouldn’t know I felt the need to pre-drink before my sober dad’s dinner that I was hosting.
The only non-drinker people I’ve always admired are those seemingly rare folks who simply don’t drink because they don’t like it, or they’re health nuts, but who manage to be lively and outgoing and willing to go out with the best of us without being a downer. People who exude fun even without alcohol. I’m sure my natural fun capabilities are still in me and that’s what I’m after. Might consist of different things than bars, but I’m looking forward to developing an ease, a peace, with knowing I can live a fun life this way.
For now, I’m no fun and that’s this cold’s fault. Looking forward to sleeping and waking up to day 4.