Who am I now that I don’t drink?

happy dancing

One of the very hardest things for me in getting sober was the massive shift I had to do in reshaping my identity. Aside from beating cravings and just getting through the days without drinking, I had to somehow reconcile myself to being a sober person, and in the process say goodbye to the ‘old’ me … the fun-loving party girl.

I did love that fun-loving party girl.

I think it helps to be honest about the aspects of drinking that I really enjoyed. Obviously there’s a reason I drank so enthusiastically for over twenty years! And although my drinking turned incredibly sour towards the end and I hated every bit of it.. prior to that there were many occasions of great enjoyment.

I loved being the fun gal with the twinkle in her eye suggesting to my houseguests that we open another bottle and turn the music up.

I loved being the party gal dancing till the wee small hours in the bar, exclaiming ‘Yes!’ when tequila shots were suggested.

I loved huddling and talking bollocks with the boozers at boring events, forming our own mini gathering separate to the main event.

I fitted into those scenarios extremely well, they were fun! They were me to a tee. So when I got sober I was pained to know I’d never quite be that girl again.

So how did I adjust to that? How did I learn to fully adopt my new ‘sober gal’ persona and inhabit it so that I could live happily and not drink for the rest of my days?

Well, first and foremost I had to acknowledge that the boozy party gal was gone forever. I had to accept the death of my former persona and grieve. There’s no escaping that truth. I’m simply not her any more. She died when I put the drink down. So yes, it was a grieving process saying goodbye to her (but a relatively easy one .. nothing like losing a real person). Still, the sadness is there and I think I’d be a fool to deny that.

Next I had to focus on the aspects of my new persona which were so good. Sober me has many great attributes that are now being allowed to shine. I have a much greater ability to fully connect with my fellow humans in any circumstance. I’m always available to listen, empathise, understand, support … and drive!

Some of my most satisfying parenting moments come late in the evening or in the middle of the night and some of my best and most memorable conversations with friends and family have happened towards the end of a wedding or party.

And finally I had to realise that there was still a fun-loving party gal inside of me, but that she was going to appear less frequently now that she wasn’t being artificially bought out with alcohol. When the stars align and I’m at an event or party (or even at home!) and my mood is genuinely elevated and I’m feeling feisty and good, I’ll turn into that fun-loving party gal again.

I’ll dance the night away not giving a toss what I look like. Music definitely does it for me (I seek out big concerts more often now because I know what a big rush of happy endorphins they give me).

I’ll huddle in a group talking silly bollocks, cracking bad jokes or just laughing freely at others who are on a roll.

I’ll light candles, keep the mood warm and cosy and stay up late chatting or playing games.

And most of all I’ll do all of that safe in the knowledge that I’ll remember every aspect of the fun and camaraderie, will sleep well afterwards and wake up free from any guilt or regret.

Because no-one ever woke up regretting not drinking the night before.

19 Comments
  1. Danne 7 days ago

    Gosh I so relate to that! I have only just started grieving my party girl, but actually I reckon she will still pop up at times, happy partying sober I’m hoping for! Thanks Mrs D 🙂

  2. IslandOne 1 week ago

    Great post, @Mrs-D. I’m definitely still working on the identity – The old me was a better fit for a lot of my social circle than the new me.

  3. MalibuStacey 1 week ago

    What a pick-me-up Mrs D! I’ve read this every day since you posted. xo

  4. VmixD 1 week ago

    Awesome perspective. I think I’m going to have a sober grieving party for the person I didn’t like being after drinking 🤗

  5. Kiwired 1 week ago

    Great perspective on the change from drinker to non drinker. It reminded me of going to a 21st nearly 40 years ago and the Tequila came out The rest of the night was a blur. My friend phoned me the next day and said how much fun I was. As a shy young woman who lacked confidence, I took those words onboard but didn’t become a party girl for another 14 years. I now look back and realise Alcohol is not fun. As a society we need to change the messaging around Alcohol.

  6. dorothyparker 1 week ago

    Oh I relate to this so much!
    It’s bittersweet changing your perceptions about yourself.
    I’m still learning how to be myself out. The alcohol suppressed a lot of self doubt and insecurity. Without it, I can be quite self conscious.
    That’s not always a bad thing though, or better than being brash and overly confident.
    I’ll get there, still early days (423 I believe).
    Thank you Mrs D

  7. buckeyegirl 2 weeks ago

    Timely post, although Im not the party girl any more I am finding new ways of adjusting to the new me. Still learning about myself at my age, who new!

  8. Connie 2 weeks ago

    I was that same party girl and really surprised to learn when sober that I am more of an introvert.
    I have had to relearn how to enjoy and have joy in settings where I once used alcohol to facilitate. Now, if I see someone who resembles the old me talking a little too loud , laughing a little too much , drink in hand all night long, I feel compassion , not envy. It just wasn’t as much fun as alcohol distorted it to be ! I do think sometimes I’m a bit boring but I work hard to let go of my need to entertain and keep the party going, or what we know now is codependence.

  9. wiser4it 2 weeks ago

    I’m delighted to be the real me again. This is the happiest I’ve been in years, the true real authentic me has returned. Your post was spot on!! Many thanks 😘

  10. reena 2 weeks ago

    I struggle with that too as I was the one skinny dipping or leading the night somewhere… I am glad you have resolved it and you are content in yourself. What a great feeling! Thanks for this Mrs. D!

  11. newstart100 2 weeks ago

    Oh, I really liked this post and connected to it a lot. I am a slow learner and just now am really feeling like I am ready to accept the ‘new’ me as a keeper. Loved the part about the best parenting moments being in the evening and at times when we would normally be very drunk. Also, the part about being better at listening and really connecting to others. Thank you for this xo

  12. Aunty 2 weeks ago

    Great topic! Thanks
    I miss her sometimes too, my party girl, but now it’s a bit like missing my youth, something I just can’t keep going forever. Recently I have had to start caring for my elderly mother and the conversations and interactions I share with her are a complete change to how we interacted before. So the saying that ‘the only constant is change’ feels apt right now.
    Am I reinventing myself? Or evolving? Or adapting? Not sure what to call it but I’m happy to be present and conscious and sober while it happens. Don’t want to miss out on seeing what’s next.

  13. Teazy 2 weeks ago

    Thanks for this, altjough I don’t miss my party girl, my friends do but she was not the real me, the real me is quiet and a bit introverted, I created s whole new person with drink, who was she? Dancing on tables, singing, it wasn’t me that’s for sure! Ha

  14. Frog 2 weeks ago

    Sweet!

  15. mags2020 2 weeks ago

    Lovely post. Thanks.

  16. Nessa20 2 weeks ago

    Thank you kfor your honesty and time.

  17. ajmsnooze 2 weeks ago

    I like that last Line Mrs. D. “No-one ever woke up regretting not drinking the night before.” I’ll remember that when I feel tempted. I ordered your book and I am waiting for it! Can’t wait to read it!

  18. kevin29 2 weeks ago

    Great post Mrs. D.

  19. fridaymay92014 2 weeks ago

    This is great. Thank you for sharing.

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