I was that person…

I recently celebrated 1250 days of sobriety (yay me!) and during the day of my big celebration I wrote in the Members Feed: “I love my new life with NO alcohol in it!!! So incredibly grateful to have realised that shit booze was dragging me down, and to have stayed determined through the tough early phases of sobriety. Nowadays I never obsess about booze, or crave a drink, or worry that others think I’m boring (or if they do I recognise it’s probably because they’re locked into a boozy lifestyle themselves).”

Since I wrote that I’ve been worrying that I sounded snippy towards people who are (as I put it) “locked into a boozy lifestyle”. Worrying that I sound like I’m judging them, or I’m feeling superior to them, or I’m disdainful towards or dismissive of them.

I’m totally not. No way. Apart from anything else I think it’s impossible to judge other people’s drinking from the outside. But also, I would never want to judge someone’s character based on their relationship with alcohol. A drinker isn’t necessarily a bad person just as a sober person isn’t necessarily a boring person. Who would dare to judge character in such broad and ridiculous terms?

Me. I was that person.

When I was locked in a boozy lifestyle I thought non-drinkers were boring. I’m ashamed to admit that but there’s the truth. I was completely locked into the mindset that boozing was cool and fun and and totally acceptable, I was hardwired to believe that boozing was the best (only?) way to have fun at parties, I was convinced that imbibing alcohol made you interesting and edgy, and because of these hardwired (bullshit) beliefs I assumed all non-drinkers at parties were boring people.

How terrible is that? To judge someone’s character based on their lack of alcohol consumption when out socializing. Maybe deep down I was threatened by their seemingly calm demeanor? Maybe deep down I knew my boozing was tragic?

Nah. I just think I couldn’t be bothered slowing myself down to invest in a conversation with people that weren’t being loose and boozy. It wasn’t about them at all, it was about me.

So now I’m sober I accept that at parties there may be people who are boozing away merrily who don’t want to come near me. I accept that this must happen from time to time. But I won’t let it upest me, nor will I be angry at them for not giving sober me a chance. I get it. I totally get it. There’s a difference between us. They’re boozing, I’m not, and they don’t want to slow down to invest time in sober me. It just is what it is.

The beautiful irony is that some of the best, most lovely and memorable conversations I have nowadays are quietly in the corner of a party environment with other people who also aren’t racing around getting hammered. This has been one of the most joyful discoveries for me in sobriety. I love my quiet party chats. So I don’t care what others might think of low-key party me chatting with my soft drink. It’s not boring to me, it’s lovely and it makes me happy. And that’s all that matters.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Anonymous 5 years ago

    Today marks my 33rd day of sobriety. I drunk for 16 years, with moments – long moments, of sobriety. I could always piece enough sobriety to drinking for my career. I’ve always felt smart (overthinker) and like I was meant to be a leader. However, could never “handle my liquor”. Even thinking about liqour makes me want to puke. But over time, it all caught up with me as a stressful job further plummeted me into the sad alcoholic abyss. So, let me tell you how I hit my bottom – which is a foggy set of events, but I will try. I was about to on my third or fourth week of sobriety with a big event coming up at the end of it. One day heading home, I thought I should get a drink to chill as alcohol relaxes my body. I got some vodka.. I know right? That stuff like picking up the gun and shooting yourself. Except you let someone else do it while youre foggy because you dont have the balls to do it yourself. Anyways, about three days later after drinking, weird texts and calls, and a huge fight with my spouse, I realized I had to drink because my body couldn’t survive detoxing. Nothing at work was worth staying sober. In my drunken haze, I literally remember thinking I didn’t want any of it. None of my responsibilities. Not my job, house, family. I was ready to lose it all. And I was about to. I was driving, hungover, and possibly going through DTs. I flipped back and forth between going to the hospital and checking myself in or staying with family. I stayed with family. Driving two hours away to stay with a family member who was 8 months in recovery. Blessed is an understatement. I welcomed with open arms, loved on, and fed. I cried, shaked, somehow made it through. Surprisingly love works well on alcoholics when we are the most unlovable group of people at times. I was at a crossroads. Do I go back to work and run around like I have no problem or take leave to get well? For the first time in my life, I chose ME. The real me. I took the time off and exercised and cried. I realized that my religious claims hindered me. I always believed that Jesus would save me from myself or from this disease. But he didn’t. For the first time ever, I realized that I would have to save myself. Like one foot in front of the other. I wasn’t mad at God. But I wasn’t pretending or hiding behind him, either. No job stress, social opinion, pathetic insecurities are worth me dying. I would have killed myself. If I ever drink, I could kill myself. Its just that damn serious for me. There is no beer after work. There is no beer. I’m fighting for my life. Im pretty sure God allowed this place so I would face my demons. But I also know its me who has to fight them every single day. If I ever get complacent or bored and drink, I will die. Its just that simple. And that complex. Love yall. Keep fighting. Screw alcoholism!!

  2. zrtist 7 years ago

    I have general disdain towards alcohol and it’s beginning to affect my friendships. This post and the following comments help tremendously.

  3. ylang-ylang 7 years ago

    Oh yes, the wild side. Aren’t we fun? I was always the one to have the “wine time!” idea. Party girl, yep, bring it on. God I was like a broken bloody record. A friend pops in at my place, I’d pour them a wine and pass it to them as they walk in the door. Good grief. Oh yes, it was fun fun fun all of the time. What complete bull shit. Everything thing was the same, all of the time. Pissed conversations really aren’t known for their diverse range of topics. Pissed conversation is all about me Me ME! Oh, well, I’ll pretend I’m listening to you while you’re talking, but really I’m just thinking about what I’m going to say next. It’ll probably be something I’ve said before, more than once…
    So am I boring now? It’s not really for me to say is it? I’m finding other people waaaay more interesting, so probably/possibly/hopefully I’m more interesting too.

  4. Rusty 7 years ago

    1250 days! Great stuff – you’re an inspiration.

    Though I’m only 33 days into sobriety, I can identify with you. I’ve been to a couple of significant social events and both times I dealt with some anxiety as I was unsure as to how it would all go.

    As a result, both times I found myself offering an explanation as to why I wasn’t drinking even when nobody was ‘asking’. I told these people that I was taking a break, that I was setting it as a challenge. I need to remind something that I once read (in an obituary!): “If you are worried about what people are thinking about you, don’t because they’re not.”

    I’ve found that I’m actually better at socializing, when I’m not drinking. Much better. I’m not focused on my next drink so I can be more engaged. And I’m not slurring my words nor is my brain pickled so I can actually tell a funny story and have an insightful conversation.

    I can leave the party knowing that I’ll be waking up in the morning feeling great and confident minus any worries that I made an ass of myself.

    And you never know, if you’re single, by making a better impression you might go home with a number in your pocket that belongs to someone whose name you can actually remember!

    • ylang-ylang 7 years ago

      @Rusty, keep on telling anyone who will stand still long enough for you to start the conversation. Every time you tell someone you’re also telling yourself. “I don’t drink” it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Gotta love that 🙂 oh and take the “only” out from in front of you’re number. You’re 33 days sober, there is no ‘only’ about it. That is awesome and you should be proud if yourself x

    • ali 7 years ago

      Man, I really enjoyed reading your comment, it is all so familiar. And the positives are so worth striving for, thanks

  5. behind-the-sofa 7 years ago

    I’m judging boozy people. A woman came in the pub yesterday at bang on 11am opening and ordered a straight vodka on the rocks. I wanted to go and chat to her and find out what was going on, like there must be some interesting back story that’s led her to want/need vodka in the morning. A crazy boozy night the night before perhaps that’s led her to needing a hair of the dog….. Now I see drinking as a weakness, a crutch that people need to handle stress and pain in their life or to make themselves more relaxed when socializing. And I do feel superior to them because I don’t need that stuff anymore. I feel superior to my old self really and hence that carries forward into projecting the thoughts of my old self onto other boozers but of course they may not be as bad as me and nothing may have been going on with that woman; she may have been able to take or leave that vodka and may not have carried on drinking for the rest of the day, ending up passing out somewhere. But I did judge her and I have to say that I was impressed with her. I admired her for ordering that vodka. I guess I’m still attracted to the wreckless, edgy, rebellious side of life and ordering vodka in the morning somehow represents that to me. It certainly says something. It’s not a neutral act. So I can either view it as cool and edgy or I can look down upon it and scoff but I can’t ignore that it illicits a reaction in me. I guess it depends on how I’m feeling, if I’m feeling sanctimonious or rebellious. But just because I’ve quit drinking doesn’t mean that it’s bad and people are stupid for drinking it. I haven’t instantly forgotten its appeal. It’s super seductive. God, I should really edit this and choose a viewpoint and stick with it but I guess it shows my mixed up feelings towards booze which is why I have to be super vigilant and guard against booze everyday. It takes a long time to develop an addiction and it also takes a long time to develop sobriety.

    • ylang-ylang 7 years ago

      Editing is for wimps 🙂

    • ali 7 years ago

      Lots of familiar thoughts and quandries when I read your comment, really enjoyed reading it. Like you , I am faced with peoples drinking even though I am at work and not actually socializing with them. I think that when they are there for their first couple I feel envy and then as time goes by, and It’s the same people all the time(so I know where they are at), I empathise with them cos I am pleased it’s not me in their shoes any more.

    • morgan 7 years ago

      Quite glad you didn’t edit – it is a very rich & full expression of the conflicting thoughts & emotions we can experience – & all in one day! ‘Super seductive’ right! I would so have wanted to talk to the morning vodka drinker!

  6. ali 7 years ago

    I have always been stand-offish in the conversation department, find it much easier to chat away at work rather than indepth face to face at social events, booze helped me there. Now that I don’t imbibe I feel in a difficult situation, (I am so happy about it, thats for sure) but I feel that I have no right to have an opinion( voiced or in my head) about other peoples drinking habits. BUT if others hadn”t had an opinion about mine I wouldn’t be on this site now and getting ready for day 200 soon. It’s such a fine line.

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      yeah I agree @aldog (Ali)… I don’t feel I have the right to judge others… I don’t want to, I don’t want to feel superior or more knowledgable. It’s hard sometimes, feeling as I do so happy to be booze-free and having had such a big turnaround in my awareness and thinking around booze.. but I do try really hard not to judge. Just keep my side of the street clean, and stay loving and open to others. We all get to choose how we want to live our own lives… the best we can do is just be happily sober .. content in our sober bubbles … lots of love to you xxxx

  7. Lily 7 years ago

    It’s called growing up. I’ve grown up. I don’t want to be that person I was before, yuk! I used to think I was the all time party girl! Everywhere I went I just had to get out of my face (now that IS boring!!!) I too used to believe that those at the party who were quiet or sitting down were old before their time, hugely boring & dull, socially inept, or had some personality problem.I was a complete pain in the arse. I was actually told much, much later by a man who we know in the pub that I used to get so drunk that nobody would want to talk to me! I was probably untalkable to!!! Now that’s boring. I only mixed with people who were complete boozers, my husband would say “you would never mix with those people if you weren’t boozing”. He was right, but at the time I thought he was a tedious bore who would do or say anything to stop my fun. Fun, that’s a laugh! Staggering home by myself because so-called friends had left me in the pub. Falling into bed, not remembering a thing, waking up feeling like hell, feeling like I wanted to die, saying never again & then doing it again. On & on, all in the name of “fun”. I truly never, ever want that life back again. I love being sober, I love feeling well and above all, I love feeling serene,happy remembering everything and know I don’t envy anybody whose supposedly “having an amazing part time”. I’ve been there & I like it here! Xxx

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      This is so powerful to read @lily, I’m so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you’re right it’s about growing up, I think back to the boozy, party me and just see someone who was incredibly ignorant about what life could be like – blissfully in denial about what I was doing to my whole experience of life by numbing constantly with booze. I’m soooo incredibly grateful to have gotten that shit out of my life… and it sounds like you are too…fabulous. Just magnificent xxxx

    • delgirl68 7 years ago

      Awesome! Ditto!

  8. Stevieboy 7 years ago

    Good onya Mrs D – kia kaha!
    1250 is a big number and a great achievement.
    I’ve just hit 360 and can’t believe it’s gone so fast – and so well

    • bombay 7 years ago

      Way to go!!!

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      Woo Hoo @stevieboy !! Make sure you announce in the Members Feed when you hit 365!! xx

    • gabbygirl14 7 years ago

      @Steveboy I can’t WAIT to get to 360!!! GREAT JOB and what an ACHIEVEMENT for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am at 113 and feeling better and stronger each and every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU @Mrs D this website SAVED MY LIFE!!!!

  9. thirstystill 7 years ago

    Mrs D, I was that person, too. I thought people who didn’t drink were so bloody boring! And I’m sure that was why I thought I’d be boring when I quit, and why I thought everyone would think that of me. Of course, they didn’t think that, and I’m not boring at all (or no more than anyone else is, anyway.) I so enjoy being present and engaged these days– it’s hard to remember how much I used to rely on checking out and counting that as my main fun. Now I genuinely have more fun, and I laugh more, and I see that, for me, all that was hindered not helped by the booze. As always, many thanks to you for showing the way on this stuff! xo

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      yeah that was one of my absolute biggest fears @thirstystill.. that people would consider me boring because I didn’t drink, of course it was because of what I used to think of non-drinkers… but even now maybe I try to over compensate and be upbeat to PROVE I am not boring..?? Not sure if I do that… at the end of the day I can’t control what others think and I don’t care too much.. I know that I feel so much happier and calmer and more at peace internally than I did before.. and that has to be all that matters xxx

  10. lifewithoutvodkarocks 7 years ago

    I totally get what you’re saying, Mrs. D! From as far back as I can remember, I had a mental list of people I’d met or heard of who didn’t drink – for whatever reason. They really intrigued me, and annoyed me more than a little. As if their decision not to drink had anything whatsoever to do with me. What right did I have to be annoyed? I felt sorry for them, too – and now that I’ve joined their ranks (175 days today! Yay!) I’ve encountered my fair share of people who, when I told them I don’t drink, responded, “Not at ALL? Not EVER?”, as if there’s something wrong with that. Now the tables have turned and I feel a little sorry for the people who have to make a beeline to the bar at a party, who have to have some drinks before they can relax and enjoy themselves. Funny how our perspective changes, huh?

    • morgan 7 years ago

      Intrigued, yes, I was sitting wondering what it was I thought and felt about those who didn’t drink (barely knew anyone, one?!!) & I think intrigues is the word, & unsettled. Sort of sorry for them, envious, hassled in my mind.
      Great post Lotta, as always. The ‘fog of denial’ love it!

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      It’s actually shocking how I view booze differently now to when I was drinking heavily myself. It’s like I was in a complete fog of denial… sometimes I wonder what others must have thought of the boozy party girl I was – did they watch me making a beeline for the bar over and over and think ‘she’s in trouble with her drinking?’ … so hard to judge from the outside, but the bottom line is I am soooooooo happy to be sober. Great that you are doing so well @lifewithoutvodkarocks! xxx

  11. Prudence 7 years ago

    Yes I can totally relate to what you say. I too was that person. Rather shallow weren’t we! I can only imagine (cringe) what those quiet ones were thinking of me as I made filling and refilling my glass the main event of every party! Then blathering on, probably all about me. Hahahaa well it’s rather nice to finally grow up at 58! And I look forward to the day that I will enjoy being at parties sober and I know that day will come. I am rather lucky I think that my party circuit has been somewhat slow or redundant during this first 6 months of sobriety. I shall flex my sober muscles and learn this year the art of socialising sober!! I will learn to love it xo

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      not shallow @prudence just letting wine get in the way of everything. You are going such great guns at the moment I am loving following along your sober journey.. it really is a privilege to ‘witness’ and thank you so much for sharing with us here. Big love to you xxx

  12. KAM 7 years ago

    Thanks for this Mrs. D. I have a very close friend that stopped drinking years ago. As far as I know, her decision was more religious in nature and not because she had a problem. The rest of our social group, includingg me, stopped inviting her out and always made comments about her being such a bore. I feel bad now that I’m now that person for different reasons. I do believe my friends ˝fun side˝ went away while she wasn’t boozing. I don’t want to be like that. I still want to be my normal crazy fun. Laughing self. I guess only time will tell.

    • Author
      Mrs D 7 years ago

      You’ll find the authentic you without booze @KAM and it may well be crazy & fun! I can be awesome fun at a party – when I’m in the right mood and the crowd is my sort of crowd and the music is fun etc etc… – but other times I can be quite quiet and reserved if all the elements aren’t lined up for me. Both states (upbeat or low-key) are authentically right for me at that particular party on that particular night…. booze doesn’t get in the way and create a ‘false’ ‘fun’ (boozy) me… whatever I am on any given party night is the natural me, and the longer I go sober the more comfortable I am either way. Hope this makes sense, a bit of a waffly reply sorry!! Take care xxx

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