In hindsight it turns out that I chose both the worst and best time to make a public vow of sobriety.
Worst because for the first 2 weekends – notoriously the hardest part of going alcohol free – it was party time here at the farm. Old friends coming to stay loaded with food and wine. Winter in the Southern Highlands is the time for bonfires and red wine, kids running free in the (snake free) paddocks, there’s no driving anywhere, everyone is in party mode. I am not a winter person, but these times make it bearable.
However, its FULL of triggers – it would have been very easy, and indeed probably very understandable, to cave in. I really did choose a time that would challenge me the most.
As it turns out, though, the timing was perfect. The steadfast resolve that came from the announcement meant I didn’t cave. I didn’t allow the voice in my head to win – it just wasn’t a decision and so the voice went quiet. I kept waiting for the cravings, for the white knuckling, for the irritation at all the noise and fun around me, but it never came. I felt relaxed and happy the entire weekend. Sure the thoughts of a glass of wine popped into my head, but when they did I’d remind myself of what that would mean…
Drinking me would have polished off at least 2 bottles of wine to myself each day. With that amount of wine under my belt, I’d have tuned out from all the fun chitter chatter, buzzing around in my own world.
Sober me was engaged and involved. I have caught up with my dear friends’ lives. We’ve dissected at length the enigma of the “poo jogger” and the bizarre popularity of Trump in the US. We’ve shaken our heads over the spectacular self-created undoing of Barnaby Joyce.
And I hugged and kissed my daughter at bed time, whispering good night to her as she dropped off to sleep so happy and tired from a full day of playing and running with other kids. I didn’t breathe wine breath all over her, or slur silly, non-nonsensical rubbish at her, or impatiently dismiss her fears that she often has when it comes to lights out, eager to get back out to the party.
And remarkably, I remember everything.
So my announcement, whilst challenging, was at the best time of all because these last 2 weekends have taught me the most valuable lesson of all…. I LIKE being sober. I really, really like it.
And I LOVE my friends. 🙂
PS. MASSIVE shout out to my Andy who, many weeks ago after I was having a bit of a poor me “I don’t have any friends anymore” moment went to a huge effort to make this weekend happen, and to keep it a surprise. I have been very spoiled this weekend. xxxxx