This pretty picture sums up the state of my recycling box right now.
I woke up this morning in a house covered in all the tell-tale signs of a big night- wine bottles everywhere, half finished cans of beer littering the worksurfaces, bits of food crushed into the floor and the odd cigarette butt from people having a cheeky smoke inside.
Last night I hosted a party at my flat that went on from 8pm to 4am and I didn’t touch a drop.
I cannot express how happy I am about this fact. I knew I could do it, but yesterday afternoon I was having whispers in my ear from Wolfie, and worried about it all getting too much.
I’d resolved to use every single tool in my toolbox, even if it meant shutting down the party at 10pm, so set about using one that I knew would work based on previous periods on non-drinking. I went to the shop and bought some alcohol free beer in bottles, chilled it and opened one so that as guests arrived, I had the reassurance of a bottle in hand so no-one questioned why I wasn’t drinking and that I got a different taste to the lime & soda and diet coke I’ve been drinking so much of in pubs the past few weeks.
Instantly, that act of opening the bottle meant that I knew I wouldn’t drink. It was like my safety blanket having 6 bottles of non alcoholic beer in the house- I promised myself that I’d drink those first before I went anywhere near alcohol. Of course I didn’t want 6 bottles (why would you drink the gassy stuff if it’s not alcoholic?! The taste novelty wears off pretty quickly…) so I had 2 and was on water the rest of the night.
Not drinking was easy, and I felt so empowered by it. My personality is naturally friendly and bubbly, and I was reminded that I don’t need alcohol to be fun. Towards the end of the night a few people commented that I seemed “incredibly together” and when I told them I hadn’t had a drink they were flabbergasted. They “couldn’t tell I was sober” because I was having so much fun. There’s a whole other post on the madness of how fun = alcohol for so many, but it was great to have some affirmation that I’m still nice to be around without alcohol. I shouldn’t need that affirmation, but at this early stage of sobriety it really helps…
The other thing that I’ve never thought about when drinking is your appearance to others. I spoke to Carrie about the party and she told me to make sure I looked and felt fantastic. I put on my best dress and really took my time getting ready, and it paid off. I felt great and it helped me feel confident sober. As a single person who is always on the look out for an eligible young gentleman, it really dawned on me how much more attractive it is to be sober and together rather than red-faced from booze, with wine lips and a slur. It’s not rocket science, this revelation, but I’d never really thought of how unattractive drinking is until now…
Of course there were moments of the evening that were tough. An 8 hour party is a bit of a marathon when you’re not drinking- the hours don’t slip by in the same way as when you’re sozzled. I had to remove myself to have a “time out” in my bedroom a few times for a break from the chaos. Everything is in sharper relief when you’re sober, conversations are louder, and it’s more emotionally exhausting.
That time out technique worked for me, and I came back to the party ready to have fun and danced the night away.
Thanks for all the support in the comments when I said I was holding this party- I know that some people thought it might be too much, but I feel like I’m starting to really understand my relationship with alcohol and know what my danger points are. I’m much more susceptible to accidentally saying yes to some wine in a restaurant than I am cracking at a party, for example.
This whole experience has given me so much faith that I can do this 100 day challenge (and beyond..?)
I want to remain sober, I love being sober. Life is so much better.
HELLO SUNDAY MORNING!