So…a very good friend of mine is in town for a week, and the plan for tonight was to meet up at another good friend’s house. I volunteered to send out the email, and the evening was a light and casual one – BYOB and an appetizer to share. There were 8-12 of us at any given time, and I brought my specialty appetizer, which everyone ooohed and ahhed over. I brought my sparkling water concoction in a new Jervis tumbler that you can’t really see through. I also brought a full large refill bottle that I kept in my purse, and refilled it unobtrusively from time to time.
It was so awesome to see my friend – only she and one other friend (who was also there) know of my “struggles” and how I am working on bettering things. All of the girls at the party are former drinking buddies, but I truly do believe that they will continue to be my very good friends. Not ONE mention was made of what I was drinking…until towards the end when someone who had definitely had enough asked what I was drinking. Since I had already gone 4+ hours without the question, I was a little caught off guard and simply said “some sparkling water.” and that was it; she dropped it (and almost spilled wine all over me as she got up to move on to the next conversation). This gal also left her sweater and glasses that I brought home (she lives nearby)…hmmmm.
The voices got louder and louder as the night went on, and the stories got more and more “embellished.” I tossed in my fair share of funny comments, witty remarks and wise advice. Not ONCE was I jealous of the not drinking part – and I will say – EVERYONE did have either wine or beer that they were drinking. The red wine (which I used to enjoy) actually started to smell bad as more bottles got poured. I think the hardest part for me was my own self-conscious worry that if people knew I wasn’t drinking, that they would wonder why I wasn’t drinking – and probably guess as to why I shouldn’t drink. But ya’ know what…why I’m even remotely concerned about that baffles me.
It was indeed a glorious moment to leave the party (I stayed until almost midnight – 5 solid hours!) and have the clear headed feeling that I have right now. The key was having a plan and sticking to it. If I can not only survive, but THRIVE with this small of a group who were all drinking, then I know I can continue to enjoy larger parties where it is a bit easier to blend in with the crowd. Seriously – being around one table with all of those women and feeling at ease and relatively comfortable in my own skin WITHOUT my crutch was a huge accomplishment. In time, I am sure I will feel more and more relaxed, and not with the help of my buddy chardonnay. My motto is – I am fine with situations that INVOLVE drinking, but I definitely know I need to avoid situations that REVOLVE around drinking. I was extremely happy to spend time with my out of town friend, and also with friends I had not seen in awhile.
I thought of you guys, and my AA buddies, and my family and MYSELF as I continue on this journey. I’m not going to get all “pink cloudy” and say it was the best night of my entire life. There were moments of unease, anxiety and self-doubt. But the good FAR outweigh the bad as I am about to go take off my makeup, brush my teeth, and look forward to waking up with a clear head ready to face the day!!!
Ta ta for now 🙂