I walked into 2020 sober as a judge. This was a deliberate decision I made. I don’t believe I am an addict, (what addict does?) I had a couple of experiences with alcohol in 2019 that led me to the conclusion that booze and me do not mix so well anymore.
This is not a hard and fast sobriety. I mean, I enjoyed two glasses of a really nice wine on Christmas Eve with my Mom and Aunt, and I occasionally smoke weed (it’s legal) and partake in edibles (which generally only make me sleepy and binge on snacks with carbs in them.) Overall, though, I am planning on being sober from here on out.
Addiction runs in my family on both sides, so why mess around with it?
The hardest thing I have found about being sober is social situations where everyone else is drinking. I am an ambivert, (think of that as an introverted extrovert.) And, for years and years, I have used alcohol to cope with being social in situations where otherwise I would have felt uncomfy.
I used to be the life of the party, my dears.
Which absolutely led to some questionable behavior and decisions on my part. Not that I regret anything I have done under the influence of alcohol (except for tearily calling ex-boyfriends at 4am) – I do wish I had been a little more sober at particular moments in my life to consider my options more carefully.
These days, without the booze crutch, I am finding it harder and harder to be social. In fact, my sobriety (and, my exhaustion from parenting Peej) leads me often to avoid making plans with people. I often feel too overwhelmed to deal with people. I would much rather make myself a blanket burrito and watch Bravo.
One place I still can be social with little inhibition is on social media… even still, I have had enough bad experiences with being social on the Internet to make me extremely wary of putting myself out there. Especially, recently when my trying to do something kind for someone in need backfired on me in such a way that I am still recovering from the collateral damage that was done to me by a group of people.
IRL, as the kids say, I’m far more reserved without booze. If I make it out, you’ll find me in the corner playing with my phone, or if you’re really lucky, talking one-on-one with someone I already know. My capacity for meeting new people and dancing with a lampshade on my head seem to have functionally disappeared. This makes it a little difficult here in Chicago, as most of my friends from when I lived here before have moved on and out of the city… I do have a couple of close friends who still live here, so I’m trying really hard to hold myself accountable and make friend dates with them.
It’s also very telling that I find when I am sober a lot of the people who I used to think were cool, fun, funny, awesome people are actually bores. Unfunny. Desperate to be liked. Stupid. Tiresome.
I don’t blame lack of booze for my anti-social behavior, there are a lot of contributing factors that make me kind of more introverted than extroverted these days. I will say this, though – I feel physically and mentally better without regular drinking. Not to mention, booze interacts with my medications and can be very dangerous for me. Parenting with a hangover is terrible, too. Especially with a very active and loud 18-month old child.
The real test of my sobriety is coming, though, when I go on vacation with my family. My brothers (affectionately referred to as the “Drunk Idiot Twins”) like to goad me into drinking with them. On one vacation this resulted in me crawling into my parent’s bed sobbing about how they hated me and were ruining my vacation by making me do tequila shots. Yes, I understand free will. But, the DITs are extremely good at peer pressure. We shall see.
If anything, being sober has cut down on the number of embarrassing photos taken of me with my tongue hanging out.