Went for dinner this week with one of my closer friends. Truth be said, she is not very, very, very observant when it comes to people but we have been seeing each other on a monthly base for about 10 years now. If ever I went boozing with girls she was part of the team. And when I mentioned today that going out for a drink started to be a bit annoying because I don’t drink alcohol, black, green tea or herb tea with licorice, coffee, anything with sugar or aspartame…. actually the only thing left are herb teas, fruit juices (loaded with sugar) and water. Which in itself is ok, because we were born to drink water so… somehow I think I should be ok with it too. But it does start to feel a little boring after about 4 months (minus 1 day).
She is pregnant so I asked if here friend was also not drinking. I always think that is very cute. And she said:
‘No, he still drinks, but he does drink way less than he did. Of course I stopped drinking alcohol and that is not a problem, just like you. But I did move the liquor bar from the living room, don’t want to be looking at that every evening. That’s a little too much. 🙂 I still do drink all the black and green teas, the coffee and the sugary things. So that is easier. ‘
Did you read that?! ‘I stopped and it is not a problem, just like you.’ Well, you can actually say that it is a bit of a strange sentence but you get what I mean I guess.
Do I feel a liar? Yes! But most of all I felt tricked out of my secrecy. I have put all this energy in taking care about being secret, teaching myself how to lie about quitting and now nobody recognises that I actually have quit. Well, I guess I have been rather good at not making my drinking other people’s problem by drinking on my own and moderating in public. And now I do not get any recognition for what I do, or do not do. Hahahaha, serves me right. 😀 And then there is still a part of my thinking: why should I get recognition for doing the only right thing?
Well, I guess I am looking for clarity but to make that doable I focus on the path. The (clear and sober) path is the destination. So I will walk it, recognition or not.
And also; she’s right. I don’t have real difficulty with it. Apart from the boring drinks now and the building a new life. I tried eco soda’s; too much sugar for me, it makes me feel bleeeaaagh. So I guess I have to embrace my inner monk and go for the water and herb tea and stop moaning. And on the life part: I am going very slowly but I am still seeing improvements everyday. E.g. my coming of the beta blockers seems to be going very well. It forces me to do at least one hour of outside exercise per day otherwise I feel crap: good!
I guess what is happening now is that I start to be ok with the ‘boring’ part of being sober. NEW! My brains seem to have come to rest a little and not want to run everywhere and hide in activities or get all excited in strong emotions. Having said that: looking at my blogline I see I have an issue with extreme emotions. However, at those times I was totally submerged in them and did not notice something was off, I still felt genuinely me. While looking back I think it was still part of the addiction speaking or at least the addict firing up emotions. I do not feel very good about it but it is interesting somehow, in a scary way. Hope I can stay with the more balanced behavior. Not promising anything though. I notice that promises about sobriety put a lot of pressure on me.
Happy that I quit. Drinking is visibly around much more these days because of the holidays but it appalls me. Guess I trained myself well :-). Specifically the advertisements appal me: advertisements on alcohol promise EXACTLY what alcohol does NOT bring. It is madness to look at them now. Saddening. Sometimes I do get flushed with an urge but I now let these flush and then twist the end of the feeling into nausea that I remember from drinking too much. A sort of physical brainwash. I think it works. We shall see.
I’m really starting to like this ‘one day at the time’ approach. I don’t have to worry about drinking at Christmas because it is not Christmas yet. I do need to take care that there are teas and juices that I like but that’s it. That is preparation, not worry. I hope this might be an entry in my ‘should’ issues and my procrastinating issues.
Lately I also pay good attention to the impression that I get from people who are drinking in bars or restaurants. To me they don’t always look that well. Specifically those that have been drinking too much; there is no beauty in that. I see people stuck in a cage, I see despair, mindlessness, disrespect to themselves and their environment. Might be projecting but I don’t think so. Even people who at the first glance look happy show signs of loosing control and there is something awkward in it.
Yesterday one of my neighbours called, she is addicted to alcohol big time with the vomiting, passing out, making scenes, loosing jobs, loosing friends, not eating. Very sad. I will be taking care of her cat for a while. Before I had already met her boyfriend on the streets who informed me not to go into the pub to talk with her because she was already ‘tipsy’. I told him thanks for telling because I was not drinking myself anymore and therefore do not enjoy being confronted with that because it makes me sad. He agreed :-(.
The boyfriend walked me through the cats feeding scheme but later on the girl-neighbour phoned as well, it’s her cat :-). She was drunk, speaking incoherently, laughing loudly. All nasty, sad. She used to be such a bright, amazing, funny, loving person and now drinking is the only thing she does in her spare time. Well, drinking, it is binging on a daily basis. So I finished the talk as quickly as I could. I could only cry afterwards for her, for myself.
Happy I quit. I am starting to understand the 12th step of AA; at least working with people who are still addicted would show me the strength of alcohol and the damage it does. Don’t want to go there. It is step 12 for a reason, not step 1. 😉