Today wore on me a bit-I'm out of my bubble. I'm at an IB training at Brussels. I knew there would be Belgian beers and wines in all the restaurants but I did not expect there to be a wine and beer BUFFET at lunch! They don't skimp. My previous self would have done her best to get a good buzz on for the afternoon session. I would have taken a big pour of wine, gone back for seconds and then would have plotted about how to get more without anyone really noticing.
One realization I've had, is that along with the goal of getting buzzed, I would have thought of the "saving." Free wine? I have to get as much of that as possible! I'm such a cheap ex-drunk. I even thought that a little bit at dinner last night. I ordered the mussels and fries and it came with a free beer. What a waste to not drink it! Its free! But I asked for a soda water instead-still free. But not as cool as a free beer.
If I did have wine at lunch I would have been distracted and tired at the session, thinking about more booze and then after the session at the official reception I would have thrown back a couple glasses fast before settling into some conversations, drinking both beer and wine, and stayed until the end to take advantage of the free booze and then ordered more at dinner. I'm at about 6-8 drinks at this point? At least most of it was free my cheap-ass drunk self would say. And The school's paying for this too, hahahahaha.
Instead, 10 minutes into the reception I left with another participant who also wanted to walk back to the hotel in the daylight. A 45-minute walk through beautiful Brussels, a nice conversation, and I took myself out of scene that was starting to cause me strife-Belgian beers and wine everywhere, everyone seemed to be drinking but me. That can't be true but it felt like it. I started sweating the questions that might be asked and wanted out, and found a way out that was both social and healthy.
I'm back safe in my hotel bed. I'm going to walk to the the training again with the participant. It could be healthy book-ends to each day of training, a way to relax and re-energize instead of scouting out a pub and drinking in with strangers.
I used to drink with the best of them, but I don't anymore. I like myself better for it and have a full life because of it.
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp