So I’m slipping in this extra post because it feels important. Last night I went to the Xmas dinner of the drug and alcohol treatment centre where I volunteer and oh boy what a difference to past experiences.
The reason this evening was so striking was because of how I felt the last time I went on an Xmas dinner night out which was two years ago and I wrote about it here. This is an excerpt of what I wrote:
“Most of my colleagues were drinking and the table was crowded with glasses of fizz and wine but that was okay. Although my new colleagues were warm and friendly I was having an excruciatingly difficult time of it. Alcohol had always been my social lubricant and without it I felt lost and incapable. I wasn’t me and I didn’t know who ‘me’ was without alcohol in this situation.”
So the key difference between the two evenings were then I was only just 11 weeks sober and so it was all very new. These were nursing colleagues and there was an expectation to drink I felt (although I’m sure that was more in my head than being expressed by them).
This time I’m at over 2 year sober (in fact I’m 2 days away from 800 days!!) and so it is very normal for me now. I was with staff from a recovery facility so most people weren’t drinking and there was no expectation to drink.
But most importantly it was how I felt that was the game-changer. I felt relaxed, chatty, present. I felt like ‘me’ and it felt good. If I had known this back then it would have helped me enormously to challenge and manage my own weighty self-expectations. The difference in my thinking and how I feel about myself is difficult to put into words – but it is in a profoundly positive way. To use an AA truism: don’t give up before the miracle happens!! 🙂
And no hangover this morning *deep happy sigh* 😉