I participated in a Bubble Hour podcast recently about ‘Sober Fun’. It was totally great – I love doing Bubble Hour podcasts! – but to be honest the timing of this one was interesting for me. The day of the the podcast I’d spent several hours with a friend who is going through a rough time, and also my beloved step-father was on deaths door (he died 3 days after we recorded the show).. so I wasn’t feeling my most upbeat and fun self.
But I told myself – this is life, bad stuff happens and we can’t all be fun all of the time, and the show must go on! I wasn’t going to pull out – no way! – and I knew the lovely Bubble Hour hosts would accept me as I came and I trusted myself that I could still take part in a discussion about sober fun and offer some useful content.
Of course it was totally fine, I didn’t feel or sound glum during the show, and managed to make the main point that I’d wanted to make about sober fun.
That is; that getting sober is all about finding out what your authentic fun is. For some people that might be dancing up a storm at a party (as I have discovered that absolutely can still be done sober!).. but for others it might be having a quiet dinner with one or two friends, or spending time alone doing something lovely and soul restoring. Fun comes in all shapes and sizes and the longer we live sober the more we discover what our particular brand of fun is, and the less we worry about what we previously perceived fun to be (for me that meant getting tidily or pissed all the time).
I used to think fun had to involve alcohol (bollocks). And alcohol always equalled fun (also bollocks).
Now I think fun is fun because it’s fun, and alcohol has nothing to do with it. Also – lets be honest, my drinking was definitely not fun in the final stages. It was heavy and sloppy and driven and dysfunctional.
Anyway…. enough about me….. it was the words of the other Bubble Hour guest on with me that day – a musician called Scott Michels – that have really stuck with me since. He was a really cool guy, and when trying to describe what boozy fun is like compared with sober fun.. he said this:
“One of the most awesome benefits of not drinking for me is just being so much more present with everything, so my fun is much purer. It’s more creative, I guess. One example is playing board games with the kids. I grew up loving board games, and while I was drinking I would play board games and do stuff with the kids, and it was always fun, but it was kind of like an ‘essence’ of the game or something like that. I wasn’t really present with the game or the kids.
Now even something as simple as playing cards or a game has this fun which I’m sure was always attached to it … but the haze of alcohol kind of blends all fun into just this kind of feeling of just ‘you’re satisfied’. I’ve learned a lot of what I thought was ‘fun’ while I was drinking was just ‘I’m satisfied’. Now when I’m playing these games, not only am I more present, but I get more creative and we get more in depth.. it just feels more fun. The subtlety is in the moments and that is much more easily caught when you’re not in that haze of satisfaction.”
I love this so much. The subtlety is in the moments (yes!) and that is much more easily caught (yes!) when you’re not in that haze of satisfaction (yes!).
That haze of satisfaction.
I just love that turn of phrase. It recognizes that there is an attractiveness to the feeling of being buzzed (obviously, or lots of us wouldn’t booze away so merrily) but it just denotes a kind of flat, uniform feeling rather than anything unique or special.
One of the Bubble Hour hosts responded at the time: “I love what you said about the nuances. If you can have a nuanced experience without that haze of alcohol that sort of blends everything together … it’s so much better.”
Yes it is. It’s fantastic to recognize the beauty in the nuanced experience of fun. Catch the moments. The pure, happy, fun moments. They really are worth a million hazy moments any day.
Love, Mrs D xxx