Let’s go for drinks

Whoa. Triggered again this afternoon. They’re coming fast and furious now. Wolfie must really be in a panic.

Someone at work who I really admire and who, I admit, I really want to think of me as being cool and interesting and ultra-worthy, said, “Well that’s a conversation to have over drinks.” He’s not coming on to me (he’s happily married and we’re just friends). We were talking about him coaching me a bit on some really cool life priorities stuff, and he’s said it before (“We really do need to go have those drinks and talk about it…”) — it’s kind of his go-to thing to say, in fact. But every time he says it I am completely TWEAKED.

And the thing is, when I was on my Italian wine walkabout in May, he was there. He has SEEN me pour plenty’o’wine down my gullet. There is some counter-programming that will need to happen at some point.

Goddammit, this is the really hard part.

I didn’t have the courage(?) to say, “Well, actually, I’m not drinking right now/anymore/forthenext100days,” or say anything at all. I just nodded and smiled and the conversation kept moving. Fact of the matter is, it will probably never happen. He’s super busy, and it would actually be awkward for us to go meet for a drink if it really were an option. Not sure how that would work, and so for lots of good reasons, it probably won’t.

But OMG Wolfie was psyched! Immediately my addict brain was thinking: Well, I could just have drinks that night. One night! So what. No big deal. You’d be fine. 

And then the most jarring part, my brain immediately went to: Well, if you’re going to drink anyway, why not pick up a bottle on the way home from work and have some? You might as well…

Holy shit. Wow. Fecking harpy is insidious, always poised to pounce. That is so scary. It was really powerful, and it was the same power I felt when I traveled abroad for work. Like, bend me like a reed powerful, and I’m afraid of failing.

There is some serious fear of rejection/FOMO going on here. Absolute limbic brain stuff.

I came home (walking straight past the store without slowing down), and immediately opened a flavored sparkling water and guzzled it. Then fed my dog, put my dinner in the microwave (with some salad preparation as well. I’m not a total culinary rube…), and sat down to watch my favorite political show online while eating, and guzzling yet another flavored water. I don’t think I’ve ever been so hydrated as when I quit drinking and started dieting at the same time. I might need to just get into bed. I’m still being taunted by the thought of a bottle of wine. WTF??

So here I am. Day 16 and scared to death. I don’t know what will happen if he actually follows through and we find a way to have that drink. Sitting here today, I know all the things I should be saying and thinking about how he’ll value me as much if I’m not a drinker and how it won’t be worth it to drink, and may even actually be a really bad idea. I know I am in control of my power and being a non-drinker is a really good thing for me, and he would (ultimately) appreciate that. He’s a good guy and he respects me. All of those things are true.

But at 16 days I realize how precarious my hold on sobriety actually is, and how clear it is that my main drivers for drinking have always included an incredibly deep-seated need to belong that goes all the way back to my earliest formative years. Yeah, my Dad was a drinker and left my Mom, little sister and me when I was 2-years-old, not to really show up again until he got sober when I was 12. And yeah, that experience, like for so many people, has influenced how I have related to men and to other situations of belonging and approval (like this) my entire life.

Oh my. I’ll do my best to shake it off and live to see another sober day, but this is scary, powerful shit. It helped a lot to know I have so many people on my side, cheering for me. It helped to remind myself that moderation just hasn’t worked. It helped that as I was eating I could look at the list I made for myself before my Day 1 of all the most important reasons alcohol wasn’t working for me anymore, and the benefits I’m counting on as time goes by.

I still want those. I’m still holding on (Jesus,it’s only day 16! This is dumb!) for the good energy of the Universe to start feeling my sober energy and begin sending some of that good energy back in my direction. I believe it will happen, but I have to hold on. I’m going woo woo on this shit.

Right now I remind myself that I don’t need wine to be included, accepted or loved. I just need to love and value myself enough to trust that. Shit. Yes. Why don’t I completely believe that? This will be my mantra. This is hard.

16 days is something but it feels like nothing. Wow. Some days will be easier than others. 16 days. I’m focusing too much on the future. I need to come back to today. Right here. Right now.

Stay. Here.

Rachel.

15 thoughts on “Let’s go for drinks

  1. Wow, that would have rocked me, too, at sixteen days. Hell, it would rock me now, since I haven’t encountered anything close to that since I quit. No one has offered me a drink or even mentioned getting one. This is, in part, because I’m not around people who drink, but that will probably change once I (hopefully) get a job.

    It sounds like you did the right thing, hard as it was. And boy, do I get the need for approval and the sense of belonging. But you’re right…being a non-drinker is good for you.

    And the universe will respond to your energy. I’m pulling for you, Rachel. Kick ass today and remember that it is a MAJOR victory placing your sober head on the pillow at night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember being like 20-something days into sobriety and going to an out-of-town work conference in Savannah, GA. Now, if you’ve never been, let me clue you in to the fact that it is legal (and encouraged) to DRINK ON THE SIDEWALK in Savannah. Like…people go into bars and come out with little plastic cups of wine and cocktails and such. You can’t even walk around and shop without going by people drinking and bartenders beckoning you from the doors to come in for a cold one.

    That’s not to mention the dinner meetings with my co-workers, many of whom were enjoying a glass or two of wine. I can tell you that I knew exactly what everyone was drinking and how many they had. I was painfully aware of how much they had left in their glass at any given moment. I can’t tell you how I got through all of that only that somehow, I managed to refrain. I turned in early, watched Netflix and talked with my boyfriend on the phone. I read blogs. I prayed. I worked on step work. I had to constantly remind myself of my goals and why I was doing this.

    I am sitting here on my 141st day telling you that it does, in fact, get easier. Sometimes it can be awkward when invited for drinks to say “No thanks, I don’t drink” or “I’m cutting back”. You can always blame it on your new diet and healthy lifestyle that you don’t want to pump your body full of toxins and empty sugar. 🙂 Peer pressure isn’t like they make it out in the movies…most people totally understand and won’t question it even if they know you used to drink. It’s not as abnormal to be a non-drinker as us former drinkers feel like it is sometimes!

    Good luck to you Rachel. You’re doing great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done for facing down the wine harpy and 16 days is great. I sometimes find myself disappearing off into future fear and I made up a meditation for it. I say (or think, if I’m in public) ‘HERE’ as I breathe in and ‘NOW’ as I breathe out and just keep going with that until I do end up here and now. Be well, hugs x

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I like that here, now.
    I have my own mantra, and it works wonders.

    You know, I often told people in the early days that I has stopped drinking as it wasn’t agreeing with me. I wasn’t sleeping well. It was true, it just wasn’t the whole, long story.

    Most people understand the need for sleep. I never had anyone, outside my best drinking buddies, try to sway me from my sparking water or coffee.
    So next time he asks say – how about a chat over coffee/tea. It’s probably safer for a business relationship anyway.

    16 days is awesome. Just keep waking up each morning, appreciating the lack of hangover and deciding not to drink, just for today.

    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

  5. One thing that helps me when everyone else is drinking (even now – I won’t lie) is to notice how present I am. A bit like TTW’s mantra (which I love, p.s.), but even just noticing what I notice is a huge gift, especially when I compare it to how I used to be (which I do often when others are drinking around me). I realize I will remember each of my interactions, I realize that I will go home tonight/day/afternoon able to drive competently, I realize I am enjoying my people’s company without the false lubrication and elation of drinking. I especially realize that I don’t need to have a drink in my hand to actually have a really great time. Whereas all those years before, I always thought I did need it. Just one more way I feel more whole and more myself, I guess. …. Although the being thrown off-guard with ‘let’s get drinks’ still gets me, too. However? Now I just agree to it knowing I will order a club soda and cranberry/lime, or I will suggest a coffee date instead, if I’m feeling a little shaky. Or, food. I love food. And food can be healthy food, it doesn’t need to be naughty. I had a great beef carpaccio about a month ago bc I wasn’t drinking. Fabulous. *smile* How is today going? (End novel.) -HM.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, HM. These are great suggestions and most of the time I’m fine with the truth-ish or the 100 day challenge story, or some combination. But this particular person is apparently my kryptonite because I’m super scared to let him know I’m not drinking – like its a bad thing. I guess I’m afraid he’ll think it is. Hm. I don’t eat meat and I have no problem telling him that. Hm. Really breaking it down why it matters so much with this one and I guess I do know why.
      So….I’m going to need to practice this to myself. End of the day, I can go (if it ever becomes real) and just not drink booze. Or I can tell him I have a UTI and I’m on antibiotics. That would shut him up. Haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Rachel! If this person thinks less of you because you don’t drink he’s probably a weasel and you may not want his advice anyway. If he’s the person you’re describing him to be, it won’t matter. What you’re talking about is whether or not to set a boundary with him (no drinks, sorry) and boundaries are good and good people respect boundaries. Also, someone else said no alcohol is more professional anyway, I agree. Good luck with that and with this! Keep going, you can do this!

    Liked by 1 person

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