Have you ever been afraid to stop drinking even though you knew it was time to go alcohol-free? When you look to sobriety does it seem like it must be so very boring? In the past couple of days, I have been reminded of the drama-less-ness of my AF (alcohol-free) life, and how, in a lot of ways, I was just as addicted to the drama of drink as I was to the alcohol. People often talk about the importance of learning new self-care routines when you stop drinking. For me the most important self-care ritual I’ve discovered in sobriety is letting go of the drama of drink.
I loved the attention that being a drinker brought me. All eyes on me when I would roll into work after a crazy happy hour. All ears would tune in when I would share my weekend antics in the lunchroom. I could feel the respect and awe from people who just couldn’t figure out how I held it all together and still partied so damn hard. (The secret was: I wasn’t holding it together at all.)
And now that’s gone. I don’t go to happy hour, or if I do, I sip a soda water and leave as early as possible. My weekends are mostly centered around the kids, or just housekeeping and relaxing. But now there is a new sense of respect and awe – “how does she hold it all together AND NOT DRINK?” (I like that sentiment much more.)
Three reminders of this new, and admittedly more boring life, happened in quick succession yesterday.
The first was when hosting a Zoom meeting with colleagues. I had created a check-in of goals and aspirations A couple people shared worthy goals or aspirations, but we quickly got to someone who declared, “My goal in life is to drink more!” And from there, many echoed her enthusiasm and the conversation got off-track and onto how much everyone looked forward to their “end of the day” drink. Oh well. I listened and smiled and steered us back toward a more productive conversation. I saw the old me in them, and I didn’t judge her, but I didn’t miss her. I did have a fleeting thought of the memory of that coveted after-work drink, but it passed. I’ll take my cozy robe and herbal tea, thank you!
Next was when my significant other asked what I wanted to do this weekend. We do not have our kids for the first time in a month, so it is some precious time. “What do I want to do….?” I wondered. “Well, I still have some shopping to do. I want to hang those towel bars. The floors should be mopped. I have absolutely no groceries. And I have some work to finish. And I want to read – I really want to read.” He nodded and added a few items to my running list, and I thought to myself, “Oh my – when did I become so… boring?”
But our lives are anything but boring. We have three kids between us aged 5 – 13. We just built a house. We run a company together with thousands of clients who need us in an overwhelming way. Hell – we are even going to Las Vegas in two weeks (watch for that post – “Sober in Sin City” – coming soon!!!)
But, taking away drinking makes things feel less. Less crazy, less exciting, and sometimes less fun. And then, at some point, less becomes more.
And this all came together for me last night, while I was in bed, reading. I bought a new quit-lit book. I have found that a steady diet of a new one every couple of months helps me keep my commitment to an AF life in the front of my head. This one is called “Nothing Good Can Come from This” by Kristi Coulter, and so far, so good.
She writes, “So I trudge along doing things that are a little bit boring and a little bit fun and a little bit beautiful until my sense of scale starts to match reality.”
And there it is – a sense of scale. Drinking alters this. Everything is loud and drunk and dangerous and so so so so much. And over time, I have realized that there is so much beauty in the boring.
It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. There are enough of us here to testify to that. Will you join us and have a boring, AF day? Because it might turn out to be a little bit fun and a little bit beautiful.
WHO ARE WE?
If you’re “sober curious” …If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break… Talk to Us.
We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
Read more by this author here :
“After four years of commitment to living alcohol-free, I have learned so much about myself. Is sobriety boring? NO! The opportunity to get to know me better is the gift of a lifetime. I have asked myself many questions over these four years, and here I have compiled the four that might be useful to someone else who is on or considering an AF life…”
“Why Quit? –
Alcohol took away me. It took away my integrity, creativity, and presence. And I let it. Once I was able to walk away from it, I started to come back together – piece by piece.“
Boom has improved my life in ways I cannot count. I must keep coming back because life is too short not to learn new things from brilliant people.
… even in the most supportive of environments, I have found very few people who actually get it like folks here on Boom do. I have found heroes and mentors and friends here. And, that is what Boom created for me – unconditional love. Thank you.“