I’ll start this post by saying I broke my sobriety the other day and although it was a great time with friends, and though I felt fine the following day, I knew I was going down a slippery slope. The truth is, it’s either all or nothing for me, and right now I’m choosing nothing. No spiked eggnog, no champagne, no delicious spiked coffees.
When I started my sobriety journey, my only goal was to lay off my drug of choice. I did that – except for one or two slip ups. But then I joined this group that encourages its members to lay off all mind-altering substances (the jury is still out on coffee.) That meant no more alcohol for me. At first, I thought, no problem! I don’t drink that much anyway. But when I do drink, the likelihood of me picking up my drug of choice increases exponentially. Isn’t there some science about alcohol affecting the decision-making part of the brain? That’s exactly why it’s a good idea for me to steer clear of the booze.
But then the holidays began. Historically, and by that I mean my own history, the holidays are a time of celebration and celebration was synonymous with “let’s get f*cked up!” Super fun, super unhealthy, and super detrimental to my mental health in the long run. I’ve always known that getting drunk and high is instant gratification, and I was happy to pay the cost. But now I am focused on different things, and I value my sobriety in a way I never have before. That is to say, I value my sobriety, period.
So far, not so good, in terms of choosing sobriety. But not terrible. And I’ve got the whole season ahead of me to choose tea, soda, and sparkling water, and to be the only sober person at the party. This is a learning curve, but if it teaches me anything close to what I’ve learned in the past months, I’m hoping I learn how to deeply, fully enjoy each moment, regardless.
Sometimes I miss being out of my mind. Sometimes I really, really want to leave my mind for a night. Even writing about it makes me feel cravings for my own personal “easy” button: just consume a substance and feel good. Magic! No, it’s just chemistry.
I’m getting a dose of my own magic these days – the magic that comes from being fully in my mind. Instead of running from and numbing hard feelings, I am forced to sit with them. There’s no where to run, and no where to hide anymore. It’s a little scary. Okay, it’s a lot scary. Being human is hard! But it’s also making me braver, stronger, kinder, more honest, less in denial, more insightful.
I’m writing this from the Denver airport as I wait for my friend to land (in two hours, yikes.) I’ve got a coffee next to me and the knowledge that legal dispensaries are just an Uber ride away. I know I could also order a slew of Bloody Mary’s without lifting a finger. But no, I’m people-watching, writing, and my suitcase contains plenty of other activities to occupy me. It’s amazing the stuff I actually do when I’m not escaping my mind.
Here’s what I’m most curious about: Will I have fun at bars when I’m not drinking booze? Will guys still want to hang out with me when they learn I’m sober af? Will I feel bored or annoyed at bars? Will I meet other sober people and connect over sobriety, the way I used to connect with strangers over getting high?
These are the questions I look to answer this season, starting this weekend.
I’ll keep you posted,