I am feeling great. In general and specifically about where I'm at with sobriety. It seems that I prefer to blog when there is strife, and since I'm having less and less of that, I have less to say online. I think once I get back into the routines and stressors of a new school year I will find more material that gets me reflecting and writing.
The other night I was sitting with some friends, me with my 6th soda water and everyone else with their beer or wine. It was early evening and in the shade it probably was about 96 degrees. Most of the group was suffering from jet lag and not feeling well due to the lack of sleep, the heat and the dehydration headaches that comes from heat + sweating + drinking. I commented that since I'd quit drinking I'm hardly ever dehydrated. This launched off a sharing of stories when they had quit drinking: for 7 months, 1 month, a few years. All of them talked about how they lost weight, they never felt better....even giving well informed facts about metabolism, and the vicious cycles of drinking, bad food, no exercise. Very self aware. Very stuck. The conversation moved on, and after all that sharing about how beneficial quitting drinking was, what hung in the air was that quitting drinking just so unimaginable or undesirable even with all the known benefits that would stop their dehydration headaches, feeling shitty, being overweight. I used to be right there with them. Even when I was doing cleanses I drank. I assumed I had food allergies, I worked out harder, I made drinking rules, I switched from beer to whisky to cut down calories, I slept with water next to by bed. I did so many things on behalf of my beloved alcohol. For so long I couldn't imagine life without, I thought it offered so many benefits that it was worth the downsides and that the downsides could be minimized if I could just be a little more moderate.
And now I'm on the other side and so thankful I am. Free.
I didn't do any preaching or really much sharing after my comment about not being dehydrated. I was fascinated by what they were saying and how I felt when I was in their shoes, where I'm at now; how far I've come. Above all, I really enjoyed that I was able to be open and nature and just say, "since I've stopped drinking..." to a table full of dudes drinking and the conversation bubbled up from it and flowed on. No record skipped, no horrified looks, no questions of why, how, when. It wasn't about me, my decision. I wasn't "otherfied." I shared, which made others share, and all was normal.
But I'm still quite happy with myself: publicly being the non-drinking me and no longer feeling powerless and torn about the costs and benefits of drinking. I came unstuck 7 months ago, and the momentum keeps growing.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. My life is so much better for it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp