I thought I should write a short post about the dinner party I went to last night. It was with our long-time friends I'll refer to as Mr and Mrs B. We've known them for about 20 years. They have two girls as well about the same age as our girls, so we took the kids and the adults had a few drinks over an early dinner. I was on my new favourite combo, ginger ale and lime.
As far as my new sober life goes, it was a total success! I woke up this morning still buzzing from how much I enjoyed it. The buzz from being sober and being completely comfortable with it beat the buzz of alcohol. I couldn't believe it!
I did indulge in a momentary glance of my mate's half drunk Steinlager when I arrived and thought of the old me, and how I would have been all over that like a rat up a drain pipe. For a second I felt like having one, but probably more out of habit that anything.
My wife and Mrs B drank the bottle of pinot noir I bought from the supermarket yesterday. Mrs B has a fairly straight-up and inquisitive mind. She's blunt and to the point. I really like that about her. She asked almost immediately if I was still being pure or would like a drink (my wife had told her I was cutting back). I said: "Nah, I'm not drinking for the next year." (I've decided certain friends will find out so should be told, but I've decided not to announce it in every social situation.)
"Why are you doing it? Tell us about it? It's not never, never is it? I could never do that! It's so much fun!"
It gave me a good opportunity to explain how I had been thinking about cutting back or quitting the "old booze train" for a couple of years and how I wanted to go without for a year to see if I'll be able to change my relationship with it. I told them I may not drink again. I told them I was sick of the blowouts, and sick of how regular drinking, even at a low level, made me feel crap physically and mentally. I said I was doing it for me and it doesn't mean I'll be less fun or be missing out or that they can't drink.
She joked that I would be able to record all their silly drunk antics and I joked that I would bring my notepad and pencil. The topic got dropped pretty quickly and came up briefly at other times during the evening, but I wasn't uncomfortable talking about it.
What I'm most proud about is I was able to be myself, and I actually enjoyed myself more than if I had been drinking. While alcohol can ease my self consciousness at a certain point it can make me worry about saying or doing stupid things. Sober, I'm in complete control of what I do and say. I inevitable do still say stupid stuff - and I did last night - but now I know that's me and not the booze.
I slept like a log and woke up this morning still in the good mood I was in last night. I played with the kids and then headed out for my morning run. I feel like I'm becoming a new man - a better man (not that the old me was a complete arse).
Note to self: Ease up on the ginger ale next time dude! Running with a stomach full of the fizzy stuff is worse than running on whiskey and wine fumes.