Saturday, 14 November 2015

More about 'Now'

When you've been sober long enough for years to pass, it becomes difficult to tease apart all the threads responsible for the on-going changes still noted. What is down to becoming older and wiser and what role is played by being sober all the time. I often wonder if I attribute too much to purely the absence of alcohol in my life.

Recently there was one such day where I attended Something New with People I Didn't Know Very Well. I have great expectations but was let down, finding the episode damped and disappointing.

It was a charity fundraising do. A ladies' afternoon tea with shopping, auctions, raffles and other fun entertainment. I'd never been to one before and was looking forward to it on many levels: a new experience, an afternoon of cakes and scones, a little boutique stall shopping, people watching and getting to know my newest friends a little better.

But it fell below expectations on most of these counts: I spent much of the afternoon feeling detached and a bit peripheral throughout the proceedings. Of course I enjoyed looking at 400 different outfits, hair styles and make up and I did chat to my neighbours at the table, but it was superficial, polite and non consequential. I wasn't next to either of the girls I knew best (who had invited me) and felt a bit lost. This, despite usually being able to talk about anything to most people. I didn't really feel inspired to make continual effort. Previously I may have written it off, given up and got stuck into the bar but this time I drank a lot of tea, ate some mediocre scones and cake, took part in the raffles, auctions and games but overall I felt the afternoon was overly loud, forced and exhausting. I was glad to make my excuses and leave at the first interlude that it did not appear too rude to do so.
I sighed as I returned to my car and returned home, not quite sure why I hadn't enjoyed myself more.

I reminded myself that booze would not have made the event any better, and I would still be paying for it the next day. Onwards.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Unanswered Emails

Meant to say in the last post that I have received many many emails of late from people who have just read Sober is the New Black and have then shared with me their stories around the time of reading.

I WILL answer all those emails in time. I'm just a bit swamped by them all at the moment and as I answer them all personally it takes a while longer sometimes. I will get to you though and please know that I appreciate everyone of those stories.


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Whisper it... How many units do you drink?

There I was at the dentist on Saturday with my 2 children. Their check ups had proceeded without any freaking out or plundering of the sticker and balloon jar reserved for 'brave' children. Now it was my turn.

Settling into my chair the dentist did a quick update on my medical history.
'Anything changed since last here?'
'You're not a smoker are you?'
'No', I shook my head.

Then he leaned in a bit closer, adopted a conspiratorial look and lowered his voice.
'How many um, units, roughly, um, on average, would you say you umm, take each week? Just socially. Just need a number to tick the box. Doesn't have to be too accurate.'

The fake brightness and offhand manner did not work. He seemed awkward and embarrassed by the question, as if he felt rude even attempting to garner whether I drank too much or not and viewed the question as definitely not one to be overheard by children.

' I don't drink at all' I interrupted, keen to put him out of his misery.

There is a saying that as long as you drink less than your doctor then you'll be fine. I think this may extend to dentists too, as he proceeded to protest too much:

'None? None at all? Not that I think there's anything wrong with that. Not at all. Far from it in fact.  It's marvellous. Truly admirable. Do you know some people feel they have to apologise for being tee total? No, I think it's truly something to be proud of. Choosing to avoid all alcohol, my my.'

He continued in the theme of alcohol and the absence of it, for the rest of the appointment, reminding me of an over anxious teenage boy on his first date who can't stop wittering away in a poor attempt at hiding his own dis-ease.

Perhaps he was too. Whatever.

What was most important was how strong, powerful and proud I felt saying aloud to him, in front of the nurse and my children, that I didn't drink at all. The un said implication being that I neither wanted to, needed to or had ever even considered, drinking alcohol, because, why would I?

And I don't. No matter what the consequences. And I'll tell you about some of those of late next time.

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