See This Through

I survived my first Sober Vacation.

I’m going to get real, here.

I loved not waking up with a hangover, but the days were long and the nights were late and I felt like I couldn’t keep up! The weekend involved three separate social events and, to be frank, it was three too many. I felt out of place and like I couldn’t communicate with anyone! I was the poster child for social anxiety. I didn’t know anyone except for my friend who knew everyone. Normally, I can hack it! Normally, even sober, I’ve been able to figure it out and not appear mute, but I just felt off.

The other strange thing that I was not anticipating, was my friend’s reaction to my sobriety. She and I talk every day and she knows that I’m not drinking. Like (most) everyone else, she assumes that on Day 101 I’ll be back to it. At the aforementioned events, I was offered alcohol several times and each time my response was, “No thanks!” and that was that. Nobody who offered looked put out or astonished. There were no gasps, or glass bottles slipping from fingers in utter shock. However, for each “No thanks” my friend felt the need to add, “She’s on a break/drying out/doing this not-drinking thing”.

It. Was. Maddening. Even at the bar we went to when I asked if they had NA beer.

(“She’s on a no booze kick!”) Hushed tone, leaning forward, totally weird.

I felt like it was drawing ALL THE ATTENTION to this thing that I am attempting to be discreet about. Really, who the hell cares why I’m having a Root Beer and not an IPA? I instantly felt like my sobriety was something I should be ashamed of, or something I needed to have an excuse for doing. It’s not possible to simply not drink. I was especially thrown off guard because her longtime boyfriend hasn’t had a drop in 7 years and they’ve been dating for 5 of those years. Sobriety is not something new here!

I realize that my feelings are my own issue – just like her reaction to my sobriety is HER issue. I wish that I could be more articulate about what those issues are, though!

The good?

  • Late night heart-to-hearts
  • Binge watching Orange is the New Black
  • Thrift store shopping
  • Laughter that just. won’t. quit.
  • Junk food eating
  • 10 million little things that reaffirm our friendship

The thing is, for the handful of weird moments, there were roughly 3 million fantastic moments and a whole hell of a lot of those were magnified by my sober clarity. They were enhanced by my ability to listen, to remember, and to be coherent! All good things. I am certain that the next time we hang out the ‘not drinking thing’ won’t spur this craziness, and if so, I will at least be able to handle it without derailing.

Day 62, it’s nice to meet you. I’m so glad you’re here.


3 thoughts on “See This Through

  1. My first sober Halloween party my (drunk) sister shouted at me in the middle of the party, “IS BEING AROUND ALL THIS BOOZE SUPER TRIGGERING FOR YOU?!” I totally relate to your experience with your friend. I know it was coming from a loving place and it’s not my problem, but boy howdy, it was a bit frustrating. I’m glad you had a great vacation!


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