Hiding out

Mr Hangoverfree asked me if we’d like to get a babysitter and go to see a comedy show featuring a comedian we used to watch a lot when he was on TV.  Previously “on ER” sorry used to love that show and that just popped into my head! I was always up for a night out as he would drive and I would get loaded.  Night out without kids – of course I’m drinking for two!

But I’ve noticed that a suggestion of a night out now is met with hesitation by me.  But it’s not just going out it’s when I’m already out too.  We went out to celebrate Valentine’s and the film we wanted to see was fully booked so we went for something to eat and was looking for stuff to do and stumbled across a comedy night.  Mr HOF was up for it but I looked into the bar where everyone was gathered pre-show and just didn’t want to be there.

I know why.  It’s because I felt jealous.  I would have stood among people all drinking booze and I wouldn’t have been able to and that would have made me unhappy and wistful.  Wolfie would have stirred with his ‘just one’ sweet talking in my ear and I would have felt that ‘dry drunk’ feeling of going without and deprivation.  If I didn’t give into wolfie’s serenade he would have got nasty and tried to shame me into submission – ‘what’s wrong with you?   can’t drink like a normal person can you? always gonna be a f**k-up’.  Unsurprisingly I didn’t want to start that train of thinking hence I said no thanks.

But I’m going to have to stop hiding out soon.  I can go and have a meal at a restaurant and not think about it, I can go to the cinema and it not cross my mind, so what is it about group events?  Maybe someone further in their sober journey can help me out and share some wisdom and words of advice.  Should I force it or just go with how I feel right now?

BTW Still distracted by the memory and thought of Dr Doug Ross in ER 😉

27 thoughts on “Hiding out

  1. I do the same right now, and I am closing in on 100 days. I can go out, but I do not want to go anywhere near a bar. We always sat at the bar when we went out for dinner. I told my husband no more, tables only.
    I have also found that I stress about each new experience where I will be the only one not drinking. I let it eat at me for days. Then when I get there, it is not nearly as bad as I have built up in my head. The last time was when we went to another drinking couples house for dinner. Once I said no thanks, that was it, but the upcoming event kept me awake and worrying for days ahead of time.
    Sorry for the ramble.
    In the end, do what you are comfortable with. You have to take care of you (AA speak). When you are ready, you will know.

    1. I’m the same in that it is almost always worse in my head before than in reality and congrats on almost 100 days! 🙂

      1. Wow – this time next week!! I stopped counting at 100 days and now just think about weeks, half months and months. Well done you 🙂

  2. I will be interested in hearing from those further along than my 86 days. Group events are not in my immediate future. I would feel left out and jealous which would turn on the flow of negative self talk. I’m thinking I need more distance from my last drink before I do a crowd thing.

    All I would say to you is honor your feelings and don’t force what doesn’t feel okay. hugs Joyce

    1. Hi Joyce At least I am not alone in feeling this way 🙂 I’ll go with what my gut is saying for now and reassess in a bit xx

  3. This subject has come up over on ‘sobernoodles’ as well. When do we feel safe venturing out of our cave? Like the others I advocate doing it at a pace that suits you. I had my first big group thing on my hubby’s side of the family last night. I won’t lie I felt a bit out of it. Didn’t help that people were feeling my forehead to see if I was feeling alright. But at 7 months down the line I was able to think through the consequences and the cravings were nowhere near as bad as they would have been even 2 months ago. It is getting easier and the first time you do something sober you reinforce your self image as a non-drinker. You have to come first and staying AF is the priority. We will all get there xxxx

    1. Thanks Kim. You are 6 weeks ahead of me and it is reassuring to know that what I am feeling isn’t unusual. I shall give myself an easier time about it 🙂

  4. Every event you go to sober and leave sober is one more event in the year of firsts.
    have a buddy bookend you..check in before and after…and most of all breathe hold a pretty glass of sparkling water and realize you are present and they are not….6months

  5. Hi. I’ve been clean thirteen years. I’ve yet to sit back at the bar, and I don’t walk down the wine aisle at the grocery store. It’s the same way I wouldn’t knock on the door of a crack house to ask directions. It’s not worth the risk. Recognizing and owning your feelings is important, especially the uncomfortable ones. It sounds like you’re doing a good job.

    As a rule, I have found that good comedy is much funnier when I’m not loaded. And I can remember it.

    1. Hi Mary Thanks for reading and commenting. Wow, 13 years that’s amazing and congratulations! Good advice for sure and I look forward to a night at a good comedy show when I feel a bit more comfortable about it 🙂

  6. Another blogger (sorry I can’t remember who right now), recommended a (short) book by David Downie and he pointed out that you only feel left out for the first hour. After that, you are an anthropologist studying “people who drink.” This quote is very funny: “While you have always been pleased to find you got wittier and better looking the more you drank, you will find to your surprise that is not true of others.” His observations rang true with me. I have actually found that I am more relaxed at gatherings because I’m not worried about what I am going to drink next, when I get to have it, will it go badly? is there enough?, etc.

    1. Hi Sadie Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 Yes I’ve read this book – but clearly need to re-read it and to pause and let it sink in!

  7. I am just beginning to feel ready to venture out to places where alcohol is a main attraction (bars, a winery, shows etc). I think you should go with your gut. There is no perfect timeline, just do what feels good and right to you. No need to push it. The world will still be there doing it’s thing in a few weeks, months or even years! xx

  8. i wonder if some of the things we used to do, and thought we really enjoyed, simply are no more sober. do i want to spend hours in a bar? is that a good use of my time? a winery? what is there for me? again, probably something else i could be doing better suited – yoga class, shopping … list is long .. anyway, i remain a hermit at 7 months. dinners out ok but have not gone to a “real” party – just small gatherings.

    1. Hi ? Thank you for reading and commenting. I wonder too if I will find the things I used to do with a drink in hand will have the same appeal now. Maybe I need to review what I spend my time doing now that I don’t drink. Food for thought Congrats on the 7 months 🙂

    2. When I was drinking, I spent so much time preoccupied with the planning, acquisition of supplies and orchestration of drunken events. Ultimately, it became the only activity I took part in. Then, there was the aftermath. I always wanted the parties to start sooner, last longer and go on forever. I never felt satisfied, no matter how much fun I was having. Not to mention when things went terribly wrong.

      1. Absolutely. At first, it was so scary. It seemed so long since I’d actually participated in my own life. I didn’t even know what I liked to do. It does get easier, but every once in awhile, I still romanticize about a glass of wine. Then I remind myself that I’ve never had just one drink. Never.

    3. You know… you are right. I keep telling myself that I want to go to those places to socialize, but I continue NOT GOING because I know on some level that they aren’t what I need in my life (bars, winery). I am going to spend a day at wineries at the end of the month for a friend’s bridal shower, so we will see how that goes. I am not drinking no matter what…even if I feel miserable! I hope that it will be fun, though. Anyway, I appreciated your viewpoint.. sorry to hijack Lucy’s comments!! 🙂

  9. Do NOT push it! So what if you miss some things! Everybody is always missing something. If you don’t feel comfortable with it and you have a choice, don’t do it. SAVE YOURSELF.

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