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Sobriety and social skills

I know a lot of us are just starting to try out social experiences sober and are stumbling and feeling awkward. I am doing Annie Grace’s 30 day Alcohol Experiment and this quote came up today that I thought I’d share:

“Look social skills are just that, skills. They have to be learned and practiced to get good at them. So many of us start drinking at a young age and we never develop the skills to feel confident on a date without alcohol. We don’t crack bad jokes and learn how to recover. We don’t get shot down and move on. We don’t experience heartbreak without the numbing effects of a drink to make us feel better. It takes practice. If we were all perfect at everything from the moment we’re born, what would be the point? Life is all about experimentation and growth.”

Good reminder! I haven’t really learned how to do a lot of things socially – I just leaned on alcohol to get me by without learning them. It’s not that I’m just going to suck at everything because I don’t drink… it’s that I need to learn how to do them for the first time and it’s going to take practice.

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Just in time

I posted yesterday that I’ve been feeling off and that old thinking was creeping back into my life. I’m using a daily affirmation app now and this is today’s affirmation Right.On.Time. A good reminder that we have everything we need inside of ourselves and we just need to remember to use it!

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Was it really that bad?

I feel like I’m losing my way a bit. While I know I am happy being alcohol free for 75 days now…and I know that alcohol doesn’t relax me or solve any problems…I think I’m forgetting WHY it was so bad for me. I keep seeing people out drinking and having that sloppy version of fun, and it still looks good to me. I find myself saying “would it really be that bad”…it still looks fun to me and even if it’s a chemical-fake fun, it felt fun when I did it. I guess I’m going through a “why can’t I just moderate” phase. Why do I have to be different than everyone else I know? Why can they drink and have “fake fun” and then wake up perfectly fine and go about their lives with no real issue?

I went into this thinking I’d quit drinking for good…but I guess I thought I’d be happier about it. I WAS very happy about it for most of the time, but now that I’m hanging out in situations with people drinking – it is getting harder. And when I try to talk to people about it – it’s clear they don’t completely get it. I’ll point out some fucked up thing about alcohol, and they will respond with something that makes it so clear that I am just different from them…they can take it or leave it and they don’t have those problems like me.

I guess I’m stuck because I didn’t want getting sober to be “a thing”. I didn’t want it to be some life long thing I had to do. But it is, right? I mean – am I ever not going to drink and not care when I’m surrounded by everyone else that still drinks? I guess I just have to come to the realization that even if I don’t want to label myself or “have a problem”…I do have a fucking problem.

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Vacation triggers

Hubby and I are on vacation this week – RV “camping”. This is my first camping trip sober, and it never occurred to me that I would have any issues with it. It’s just me and hubby …and he isn’t drinking out of respect for me….but I guess I forgot that the entire camping experience had always been about all day drinking for me. Also, the minute I got into the RV to load up the fridge, I realized I had left a shit ton of booze in the fridge from the last trip. Yikes…five minutes in and a full fridge of drinks. I packed up all the drinks and handed them to hubby “please make these go away somewhere I won’t find them”.

Here’s to a week of nature, sobriety, and happiness!

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60 days!

So grateful to have gone sixty days alcohol free! I knew if I quit drinking, life would be better – but I didn’t realize what that actually meant. My life is amazing. Even the bad times – I always learn something. And the good times – SO rich and meaningful now. I hope I never forget how much better this is and how shitty it use to be!

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Tonight, was interesting…I didn’t drink but I seriously thought I might. It’s funny how quick that can come even after feeling so steady in sobriety.

I was out this evening in traffic -which gave me lots of thinking time. I was thinking about all the people in my past and I could FEEL all the feels all over again.

On my way home, I drove past a liquor store and thought “it would be SO easy to drink right now. Hubby’s away…I’m home by myself. No one would know”. I must have driven past six liquor stores – seriously how many do we need in Atlanta! I started having an argument with myself about how I needed to get my shit together and stop glamorizing alcohol. Then I thought about how I have a whole cabinet full of vodka still just waiting for me to get home.

Seriously …what the fuck.

I thought I had this shit figured out. I thought I had my shit together. I thought my past didn’t bother me anymore. I thought I was stronger than cravings. Apparently, I am fucking human and alcohol is still a bitch that could easily take over me again if I let my guard down.

I’m home now and in a totally different head space – but oh how easy that thinking came!

I guess I’ve figured out that in my current life – I know how to tackle this sobriety thing…but now that I’m dredging up shit from my past…I almost defaulted to the only coping mechanism I had back then – alcohol.

I am ok now, but I’m posting this to hold myself accountable for the rest of the night and also to help prepare someone else who may get side-smacked with cravings when thinking about the past.

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I am proud of myself for…

…taking a chance at a new life even though I thought it was impossible
…learning to stop and appreciate all of the amazing things around me and in my life
…putting myself out there and being open and honest with the HSS group
…giving meditation a chance and admitting it’s WAY better than I thought and that IT’S CHANGED MY LIFE
…beginning to learn how to drive my own bus and let others drive their own – stopping myself when I begin to be judgey or start thinking all those “you shoulds”
…not drinking for 53 days and having no plan or desire to let ethanol back into my life!

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Now I have something to lose

Is this a thing – fear of losing what’s going good? Lately, although I have had this immense and overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude, I am also constantly worried that I am somehow going to lose all these great things that I’m just now realizing I have. I look around my life – and I am so thankful for everything I have and everyone in it. I’m amazed that I have gotten where I am in spite of my drinking. I now love my home, my job, my family and I just can’t believe how easily all of this could have gone away and how lucky I am to still have it all.

Although I am so super happy with so many things now, I still have this annoying, constant worry. Like I’m waiting for the bad part of all of this…like wouldn’t that be some shit …if when I FINALLY appreciate what I have, I lose it?! When it would ACTUALLY hurt me, it happens?

Am I crazy? I don’t know why I can’t just be happy with all I’ve discovered and learned to appreciate…why I have to worry about losing things when I have them.

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Alcohol made my anxiety

Yesterday, I went to my second concert SOBER! And it was pretty easy – ya know why? Because I struggled but successfully got through the first one, AND I prepared my ass off both times. This time, even though I had been through it once before, I still rewatched the cravings video, meditated, and visualized the whole concert alcohol-free …because my biggest worry is that I will let my guard down one day and BAM!

Because I enjoy facing challenges (no I really, really don’t lol) – I am also attending a work dinner tonight. This is a dinner with a client that I have worked with for years but have never actually met in-person. My social anxiety is ramped up high.

The team I’m meeting must have mentioned “wine and dine…did we mention wine” like ten times by now. So I gotta figure out how to turn down the wine without making it awkward. This will be my very first experience being out with drinkers. I’ve been out places where people are drinking, but in the last 46 days, I haven’t been WITH people who drink. I think it will be good practice for two more occasions coming up soon.

I’m thinking these guys don’t know me well enough to ask why I’m turning down wine – BUT I gotta prepare for that regardless. I’m either going with “ugh no thanks – I won’t sleep for like three days if I have any”…or “no thanks – I’ve been fighting a sinus infection for two weeks, and I don’t wanna jinx anything”.

Ya know what’s funny. For twenty years, I’ve been drinking to “face my fears and handle anxiety”. And now that I don’t drink, I am doing SO many more scary things with SO much LESS anxiety! And each time I do something hard, it gives me this amazing confidence and I love myself even more for it. It’s like I’m watching a little kid learn how to “do life” and I’m all proud of her!

When I drank, I “knew” alcohol caused anxiety. But I didn’t really believe it. But here’s the proof! I’d have never gone to this dinner before! How ironic that they haven’t ever visited Atlanta until now…exactly when I’m prepared to handle the meeting!

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Good but poopy day

Yesterday was AMAZING and was real evidence of how much I’ve changed. I live in a new neighborhood and by being the first to have moved here, somehow I’ve become a sort of “social chair”…which is ironic as fuck because I am the most socially anxious woman on the planet….orrr I USE TO BE. So I arranged for a neighborhood Meet & Greet yesterday and it was supposed to be outdoors, but hell froze over and for some reason it was 34 degrees IN ATLANTA when I woke up. So with only a few hours’ notice, hubby and I decided to host the party IN OUR HOUSE instead.

Everything that could have gone wrong beforehand, went wrong. My dog apparently pooped somewhere…and the Roomba (robot vacuum thingy) apparently ran over the poop. So while we are running around cleaning other things thinking the floors were taken care of…Will (what we named our Roomba) was actually running around smearing dog shit all over our house and white bathroom rugs!!!! Also, I’m getting over a cold…so of course, I had a major coughing attack and I literally peed my pants RIGHT BEFORE THE PARTY.

Guys…It was 20 minutes before the party started, before 30 fucking strangers showed up IN MY HOUSE, my house was covered in dog poop, and I had to shower again! In the past, I’d have already been a little tipsy and anxious as hell….and that would have been the straw…but guess what? It wasn’t ! It actually didn’t even phase me! I literally looked at all that went wrong, made a list of what we had to do to fix it, delegated stuff to hubby – and we just took care of it! And guess what else? The party was a huge hit- I met some really great people, and everything worked out just fine!

Also – people were in my house with alcohol and the only thing I thought was “man, beer really smells”!

Sobriety and HSS has changed everything! Life is just easier…and better! I love you guys!