Well, ok sure. I was sober plenty of new years under the age of 18. But once I lived on my own, I know that I never had another one. Wait, there was one, about ten years ago, when I had previously contemplated my intense party-girl ways and had retreated to a friend’s house in Seattle to take time off. But that sobriety stint lasted a couple of weeks and then I never saw another sober NYE. Until last night! Party at our house and all, I did not have a sip of alcohol.
We had about 15 friends over throughout the night, I had cooked food and made snacks, people brought food and smiles and hugs. Luckily most of the friends we invited were not our craziest party friends. They are all people who drink, but pretty moderately. They are people we have other things in common with through our careers or yoga. So it was not as hard as I expected. I had a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne that was actually pretty decent. Turns out, there was another person at the party who was not drinking too, and he kept coming back to share the bottle of the non-alch stuff with me, which was pretty cool. We talked a lot about health. He had come prepared with tea and coconut water, which he shared with me too. He was open about being on his tenth day of not drinking, for health reasons. Made me feel more normal and less like I had to hide that I was sober all night. All-in-all, it somehow really wasn’t a big deal.
As the night wore on and people started to show their intoxication, I found myself actually happy to not be drinking. The hardest part was while we were waiting for people to arrive (usually when I down a couple to ease my anxiety about the event) and during the first couple hours. After that, no one really seemed to notice I wasn’t drinking, and I just stopped caring. Here’s the crazy part — I stopped caring because I was actually just having fun. Having fun sober. I have been telling myself that this is a foreign concept to me, but somehow my mentality shifted last night and I just decided to give it a go. Luckily I have great friends and it simply wasn’t a big deal. I even danced with my husband and friends. And totally noticed how awkward my dancing felt, but also didn’t let it get to me.
You know what really helps with this fun-without-alcohol thing? Besides having good friends who I realized I need to spend more time with (instead of cousin and her husband and their circle, as previously written about), yoga. Yoga really, really helps me remember to breathe and be present. That I can even take it one breath at a time if I need to. It seriously motivated me to have a yoga workshop to look forward to today and the thought of attending it helped me stay with my goal of not drinking last night.
Today in the workshop the yoga teacher invited us to feel proud of ourselves today for something we’ve accomplished, even if it was just showing up to yoga. When he said the words, “you should feel really, really proud of yourselves,” I was so moved. Because I am. I am really, really proud of myself for staying true to my intention to not drink and for experiencing the beginning of a new year with clarity. So now I am on day four and I am feeling great. Whole new ways of living are ahead of me and I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds.
Happy new year friends, and thank you for getting me through this hurdle by sharing your stories in this sober blogoshpere, and with your kind comments of encouragement. I am so grateful.