Is That All There Is?

Ugh. I’m really struggling these past few days. The entire world seems to be awash in cocktails, celebrating and partying and having fun.

And here I sit, with my stupid decaf. Feeling like a big fat loser.  Wet blanket. Stick in the mud.  As my mother-in-law used to chant teasingly to any of her children in a bad mood, “Every party has a pooper – that’s why we invited YOU!”

Last night, I was having dinner with my husband and daughter. They’re both in my “inner circle.” Daughter is eight years clean after a horrific couple of years on heroin. Hubs understands very, VERY well that I was heading toward big trouble with alcohol.

So when I took a deep breath and said something about sobriety being boring and missing out on all the fun – there were two very stricken faces and four big brown eyes locked on mine.

My husband has told me before that he would do everything in his power to prevent me from drinking ever again. And I’m really grateful for that additional layer of insulation. Because I just feel……. blah.  Like a big fat martini sounds reallllly good.

And then my daughter chimed in. She said that quitting alcohol is way harder than getting clean for her was, inasmuch as she couldn’t imagine being surrounded by people snorting and shooting heroin all around her and resisting it.  She reminded me that booze is just about everywhere you go these days, and – what’s more – there’s a societal expectation that everyone joins in! Non-drinkers are truly the odd men out.

I’m fifteen months in – and I have no idea if what I’m going through normal or not.  It’s just what I feel.  Sometimes the thought of never joining in the ‘fun’ again makes me so, so sad.

But I know that feelings aren’t facts and that this too, shall pass.

I’m not going to drink.  And after a long, tough week at work and a long day yesterday full of chores, my instincts are telling me it’s time for some good, old-fashioned self care.  So that’s definitely on the docket for this week.

I’ll let you know how it goes….

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15 thoughts on “Is That All There Is?

  1. I am thirteen months sober and this will be my second round of holidays sober too.
    I can totally relate. Here’s the thing that has been helping me so far.
    I’ve taken on a very feisty, SCREW YOU ALCOHOL attitude.
    Yes, alcohol is all around us daily, but REALLY all around us during the holidays.
    Its is accepted and truly encouraged it seems. That to have FUN and BE FUN you need to drink-
    and I say BULLS**T! Over the past thirteen months, I know I’ve had as much fun or more than my “drinking, sometimes wasted buddies”. I’m fully engaged in conversation, wittier and I don’t repeat the same story three times and BONUS, remember the whole night. I’m not saying its all peaches and cream either. I’ve been triggered a couple of times recently in situations I definitely wouldn’t have predicted (not parties, I’ve handled them quite well) My point is, really focus on how that drink would make you feel (not happy really-quite the opposite right?) Its so easy to romanticize the drink and this is where I call BULLS**T it’s not true. SCREW YOU ALCOHOL
    Reward yourself for all your hard work, be proud! Fifteen months and two rounds of Holidays without hitting the sauce is awesome. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year(probably not politically correct so
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this!! The “fun” we are missing out on by not drinking is a mirage: you start toward it by drinking but you never actually reach it. If you follow the whole thing through in your head (have done a bit of this recently myself) you’ll see you always end up at the same point– drunk and unhappy! ALWAYS.
      Excellent work being 15 mos sober!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, of course….. It’s easy to “romance the drink” because it’s been long enough that the feelings of self-loathing and worry are such a distant memory. I know I can never go back to normal drinking. Someone used this analogy once: when you have a problem with booze, it’s like turning the volume all the way up on a stereo before shutting it off. No matter how many days, months, years it’s been – when you turn it on again, the volume is the same. Thanks for the encouraging words.

      And – “Happy Holidays” works just fine for me – we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah in my house. It’s a party every day during December over here.

      Same to you!

      Like

  2. When I’m at a party or around a lot of drinking and start to feel anxious about wanting to drink, I just leave. People that matter will understand and those that don’t understand don’t really matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think what you’re talking about–feeling left out,feeling like you’re boring–is, for me, the hardest part of stopping drinking. And I know lots of people say it’s best to call bullshit when that happens. But I like your approach–acknowledge the feelings and then take care of yourself. Both seem important in getting around the whole “no fun” thing. For me, it’s also important to actually have some fun, do something outdoors that involves moving a lot or something that includes a lot of laughing. Because I also know that sober, I experience the fun a lot more fully.

    Sending you a big hug. I’m glad your family is so supportive and helpful. Here’s to having sober fun in December! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Somehow the feelings of loneliness and being different seem to have crept into your thinking.
    The truth is, most people are not out drinking every night of th holidays. They might have a drink or two. That’s it.
    They are not looking to get wasted on Christmas morning to make opening presents more fun. Which I, myself, have done.

    Life is about allowing time to move by. Not wishing it away. Now always wanting it to feel good. Sometimes being bored.

    Just keep taking it one day at a time. Reach out for all the help you need.
    Find some fun treats, or have a massage or have a fancy coffee or take a course.

    Just remember to enjoy your time.

    This low feeling will pass.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m still trying to really figure out what the connection is between “fun” as seen from, say, across the room at a party (on the outside) and being buzzed — that which is going on in a drinking person’s physiology, on the inside. Can’t we have the same outside fun while not polluting our minds/bodies?

    Like

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