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