I went to my husband’s Christmas Party do last night. We were staying over as it was an hour from home but I hadn’t really wanted to go this year. It was with all his workmates and wives who I know very well and they are all lovely company but they like to drink. That annual, all weekend office party, can get a bit tiresome. Especially now that I’m alcohol-free. When the party is all about drinking, how do you celebrate alcohol free?
Dinner was ok — if not the consistency of a meal my mother would have been very proud to serve in the 1970’s.
Quite stodgy garlic mushrooms in cream sauce starter. It reminded me of the creamed mushrooms in a can I used to eat on toast when I was a young girl. The turkey meal had the thickest gravy I’ve ever seen and I quietly smiled to myself that the usual small cocktail sausage wrapped in bacon had changed into a large sausage ‘end piece’ and omitted the bacon 😊
It was a very big do. Cabaret, singers, dancers and a comedian.
I was happy enough drinking my sparkling water, I’m too far alcohol-free to even think about needing or wanting alcohol. It just doesn’t register anymore.
But about 11pm I felt myself getting agitated. Others were happily tiddled, that doesn’t worry me, but I was aware I was becoming agitated because I wouldn’t be able to go home at the end of the evening. I’ve always somehow talked my husband round to that wherever we’ve gone since I started being AF. The hotel room was a bit shabby unlike the rest of the hotel and I really didn’t want to stay.
I sat with my thoughts a bit longer. The show finished and the disco started. Drunken people all over the dance floor.
Then a song came on I love.
I got up and danced. And danced. And danced.
I danced with my husband, I danced with my arms waving in the air, I danced subtly swiftly away from the obligatory unknown drunken creepy guy who always attends all Christmas dos –you know the one…..
I watched the drunken lady dancing on her own and in her own World with her balloons on a string oblivious of everyone else in the room. – boy she was a good dancer.
I watched the girl waving her hands in the air with a cardboard facemask of Justine Bieber on – no idea where she’d got that from.
I watched the large guy dancing to Northern Soul music with total abandon, he was good – he must have been a fabulous looking dancer when he was younger.
And I joined in and twirled and swung and waved my arms around in absolute abandon with the other dancers and I danced and danced and danced. And I suddenly found I was having a great time.
Did you know that when you’re sober and everyone else is drunk you can dance and fling yourself and your arms about as much as you want and know that no one can ‘see’ you and no one cares? Celebrate Alcohol-Free! Celebrate Freedom!
It’s the ultimate ‘Dancing Like No One’s Watching’ experience should you choose to do it.
We finished the do at 2am and I got through the night in the awful hotel room which smelt strangely of disinfectant reminding me of Care Homes I visit in my job.
This morning at breakfast one of our party said “Hey! You made it to breakfast!” – they thought I was drunk as much as them last night. No one noticed I was alcohol-free, no one cared because I just ‘was.’ I was me!
Well that’s my first Christmas event over for this festive season. I have two more Christmas parties to go and I’ll definitely be insisting I go home at the end of both. I’ve learnt a new lesson that that’s what I want to do and so I’ll do it. Then it will be 2 years alcohol-free on 26th December – that bit is now a lot easier.
Especially when I saw the state of everyone at breakfast…..
More from this author… who will be 6 years alcohol-free on December 26th 2019
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