A very dear friend asked me a few days ago when I would be at the 100 Day mark and when I looked I realised it was today. So yes 100 days and like so many fellow exboozebloggers I’m slightly amazed that I have reached this point. The feeling I have? I’d say it’s a calm, satisfied, proud and yet a not complacent feeling. There’s a little bit of relief mixed in too; relief that the anxiety, deprivation and feeling of being denied and resentful are slowly but surely subsiding. Is there a single word for this mix of feelings? The Germans would surely have one or be able to make one up, so in the spirit of Shakespeare who loved making up new words I’m going to coin a new word for this heady mix of feelings. Here goes, I feel “ubersobrenicalmsatisfigolent” a catchy word you’ll surely agree and which I am immediately going to trademark and send to the OED for inclusion in next year’s dictionary.
So yes, feeling unexpectedly good about being sober and like Anne in her nomorebeer blog I had an experience that gave me a real awareness that much has changed in my relationship to alcohol. I was in London at the weekend for an old friend’s 60th birthday celebrations. I knew this was on the horizon when I stopped drinking and was secretly dreading the ocassion. Same old stuff; would I be able to enjoy the ocassion, would I spend my time miserably pining for a drink etc etc. The key thing was that I had 3 months under my belt and had experienced a few pub, social, restaurant type events. The world had not ended and so I approached the weekend feeling fairly confident in my powers of staying AF. In truth it was fairly easy. It helped that we ended up playing ping pong in one of those noisy sport based bars they have now in London, but I really didn’t feel the inclination to drink. It was like the years of conditioning were breaking down around me. I watched as people gradually got drunk and its so easy to spot the real drinkers in a group, the ones who order extra drinks between drinks. Towards the end of the evening I actually wasn’t enjoying the evening much and not becasue I was not drinking. It was just a bit boring. It struck me, as others have also pointed out, that before as a drinker I would have drunk a lot and after a two day hangover might have said, “oh yeh, had a great time on Saturday… blah blah” and it would have been the drink making it seem like it was a fun night when in reality it wasn’t. I then thought about all those nights when I did drink copiously in a desperate attempt to make it seem I was having a great time. I did have some good times when drinking, for sure, but I think a lot of the drinking ocassions I experienced were average at best, needing booze to create the impression, the illusion of good times.
I know what for me makes a good time ; chatting to friends, walks, laughing, listening to and playing music, cuddles , good food, games. On Saturday I looked around the bar at one point and could see slurring words, nascent hangovers, women in their 60s groping young waiters. It was all a bit grim and I felt so good being sober. Anne’s last post was saying something similar and I put a comment that ,”this drinking season may well reinforce rather than threaten our sobriety.” and this has happened for me. I’m feeling increasingly lucky and pleased to be free of drinking. I’ve had enough of the language of denial, of being tested. Stuff your tests, I’m done with drinking, it’s not cool, it fucks you up and it doesn’t mean you are going to be happy. Like all drugs it peddles an illusion, it sells us a lie. Right, got that off my chest.
Sorry, got a little carried away there.
It’s coming up to Christmas, great. Lots of things to look forward to. Not a test in sight now, just calm, clear reinforcement of one of the best decisions I ever made. A warm feeling envelops me, not smugness , but pride, not complacency but a certainty, all feels calm. Yes I’m feeling “ubersobrenicalmsatisfigolent” all over again. Lovely.
AF Cheers everyone