Have you ever looked back at you life and thought “man I really should have figured this out sooner” That was me 2 years ago when I had my last, what I like to call, “episodes” with alcohol. It took me almost a week to fully recover from it, 2 full days spent in bed before I could even wash the vomit from my hair. Without too much more detail that was the day I got sober curious.
You see I was a slave to it by this point in my life. 30 something mom who drinks wine almost every night is shown in the media as acceptable. So I started to think that it was acceptable for me. Up until that point I was exclusively, a get hammered once in a while drunk, which was equally as damaging for me.
Now lets get some things straight here. I come from a long line of alcoholics. I have very addictive tendencies. I suffer from depression and anxiety. And my main philosophy was “I drink is to get drunk because what is the point in drinking otherwise? Alcohol tastes like shit!”
My thought process after recuperating from my episode was “holy shit that was savage maybe I should take a break from drinking, but like I’m not an alcoholic. So I can have a drink at any time if I really wanted to, I just want to see if I can stop, just to know that I can do it. Ok so 6 months. If I can stop for 6 months then I can do what I want, drink or not drink…. my decision, because you know I’m not an alcoholic”
Curious about stoping but very non-comital about it all and decidedly stern about NOT being an alcoholic. I couldn’t even use the word sober for a long time. I think a lot of this stems from growing up in an alcoholic family and around AA. That language around drinking and alcohol meant I was just like my Dad and that was a person I did not want to be. Unfortunately some of my behaviors where reminding me, not so gently, that I had a problem.
I was definitely not a casual drinker. My “drink to get drunk” motto was ingrained in me strong and had been my way since my mid-teens. It put me in dangerous situations, make me feel absolutely terrible the next day the sickest I have ever been in some cases. I remember one occasion drinking so much on a trip away with my mom and girlfriend and the next day I was so sick and hung over that I spent the entire road trip home of 4 hours sprawled across the backseat with my head on the floor in a plastic bag dry heaving the entire time. This and many more stories riddle my past. With the photo evidence to prove it.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not a bad drunk. I’m fun and silly and ridiculous but I’m also careless, overly trusting and make very poor decisions all around. In some ways I am ashamed. In a lot of ways I think thank God I’m still alive.
The first time I heard the term sober curious was about 1 month into my drink-less experiment and I knew then and there that was exactly me. I follow Ruby Warrington author of, Material Girl, Mystical World, on instagram and she speaks to that a lot in her work and online. It was an amazing feeling to find a tribe that expressed that I may not want to quit forever but for now I am not drinking.
It was actually easy at first. I really didn’t miss it, I was ready for a change. I woke up with a clear head every morning, I felt proud of my decisions and I was able to navigate most of my life without alcohol. The true test came 2.5 months later. It was New Years 2017, I was alone both husband and son were away and I was invited to a party.
How was I going to navigate this? I literally cannot remember a New Years Eve in my teen AND adult life that I was sober to bring in the New Year. What on earth was I going to do?
I very easily could have just avoided it and not dealt with social pressure to drink, awkward situations at a party I may not want to deal with and just all the things of being a sober person at a party. I had never in my life been a sober person at a party…..NEVER! PERIOD….EVER!!
So I spent like 4 weeks going over a million situations that may or may not occur at this party. I bought sparkling juice that looked like wine so I wouldn’t be asked questions about why I wasn’t drinking. You know what it wasn’t that bad. I found out that night that I can still have fun in social situations without getting drunk, I learned I am fun and funny without alcohol, I learned that I am stronger than my habits, and I also learned drunk people are super annoying LOL
Please note this was a burlesqued theme party I attended, I’m not always dressed so special lol
I ended up leaving the party at 11:30PM as I had enough by that point. I drove home, put my PJ’s on, watched the ball drop on TV, texted my guys Happy New Year and then called it a night.
Now what was magic about this whole thing was Jan 1st. When I woke up that day I had a clear head, I felt great, I was living my best life. I was sober curious and loving it. Thats when I knew this felt good and I wanted to stay that way. But it’s still for now. If I want to have a drink at any time I’m not against it. But when I look at the negative effects it has on my life, how it makes me feel and how it makes me behave. The negatives out weigh the fun by a whole lot.
October 21 2018 marks 2 years sober curious. I’m a bit late getting this out but I really wanted to talk about my journey into sobriety and how its really added a layer to figuring out who I am and what I’m all about.
Are you sober curious? Have you ever heard the term? Do you resonate with my story at all? Let me know in the comments below.