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A 21st Party

September 4th, 2016 Guest Posts

Lovely long-time member @morgan travelled to Wellington recently to attend a 21st party. She stayed at her elderly Aunt’s house and visited with Living Sober members who live here. She was also supposed to be meeting up with  her man this weekend, but he cancelled at the last minute due to work commitments. As a result the weekend could have turned into a bit of a trial. But to her credit @morgan came through stronger than ever before, and I thought it worth sharing her experience here.  



I have reached a new place this weekend. Often I have not felt entirely part of the Living Sober tribe as I was always a strict moderator when I was drinking. I thought I was not able to fully understand the terrible place addiction can take us.

But at this time when travelling away alone to stay in my old Aunt’s place, let down by my date,  and surrounded by alcohol I have been – to my shame – initially rather tempted.

I examined the usual wine in my Aunt’s fridge then looked over her well stocked liquor cupboard. She is away, the man couldn’t join me, who would know if I had a drink? Would top-shelf liqueurs count?

Pathetic. What a humbling warning so close to 2 years free. I thought I was only here at LS as I love the tribe. Don’t need it/you I tell myself. I wasn’t too bad anyway I would tell myself. OMG the mind can so lie.

Seeing how easily disappointment and imagined loneliness could hurl me back to drinking, even though it would likely be cautious and moderate, (at first) I would be missing out on so much; not growing, just escaping.

I stopped my self pity and loneliness bloody fast after logging in to  check on the tribe. I need this place; I need you.

Then off to the 21st party. It was a major drinking event, embedded in the drunken masses in the centre of the city. Oh god I’ve not been in such an alcohol fuelled situation in 2 years. No mountaintop or lakeside yoga retreat for reflecting on such a milestone. Imagine a coming of age party held up a mountain or by a river, instead of full-on mass poisoning for a ‘celebration’.

I have never seen so many confident, gorgeous, young people drinking and teetering around in their tinsy dresses.  So much noise and excitement the speeches were barely possible. I like deep discussion, not trying to yell over music. And the drinking stories being told – apparently all highly sanitised, the worst untold as family were present to hear details.

Imagine what aliens would think of our ‘social’ celebrations.

It felt weird. I felt out of place. I didn’t have many family there, my son left, I wanted to get out!!!!!

Escaped! Into the streets among the drunks and police and bouncers! Still so early. I managed to grab an uber – Phew. But then he careened around people and traffic.. around the winding streets with one hand on the steering wheel holding his phone in the other for directions. Lord, felt as if I was in India! Thank God for getting home to quiet and camomile.

Am I lonely? No way! I realise what a lovely treat it is that I have only myself to look after. If I had grabbed a drink to numb the sadness, I would now be wallowing in real loneliness, shame, un-wellness, misery, and exhaustion lasting the week.

Instead, a peaceful retreat from the noise and mayhem last night to my books, the stunning full moon and starry sky to wonder at. This morning, views of hills, birdsong, drifting clouds.

Although alone after being very sad the man couldn’t join me for a trip to this 21st celebration, it seems right that on Day 730 I am able to reflect, look after myself, see more of my son than I otherwise would, and, of course, spend time here in this city and meet up in-person with community members who got me to this free place.

Clear head, no regrets, happy to be living life to the full with all the ups and downs that will come with it.


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