Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 303: admitting defeat.

Last night a large team of people from work, including myself, worked long and late to produce a mountain of pitch work. Then today, when it was all safely delivered, a group of us went to the pub. Now don't be alarmed by today's entry title. I certainly didn't drink. But being around everyone as they slipped speedily down the sloppy slide to sozzled, brought up a few things for me (and no I'm not talking about my lunch). It's no secret that over the last little while I've been tiring of being Miss Straight and Sober, and looking forward somewhat to returning to the ways of the drinking masses. But therein lies the problem I now find front of mind. The masses. I don't know if it's my stupid "third child" wanting to stand out excuse coming to the fore again, but I have an issue with just going back to what everyone else does if it's only because everyone else does it. Lately, I have definitely been feeling some of the lonely side of sobriety. I have been toughing out the singling out that seems to come with the territory, and it has made me want to be more in an accepted zone again. But I take issue with returning to an accepted zone if it is only for the reason that it is accepted. I don't mind returning to an old habit if I find the old habit is better than the new one. But just returning to it because everyone else does it? It just feels like in a way I have clambered out of a hole by not drinking. It feels like I have made a certain amount of progress in myself. But it seems that in order to have a really good time socially and be included by my peers, I am required to crawl back into the hole. I have said there are things I like about the effects of alcohol. A little looseness here and there is fun and most definitely a good thing. But there's something that kind of depresses me about how much everyone is hanging out for me to get back on the booze. I get really turned off by people who are closed to new ideas or possibilities. When people refuse to even allow themselves to think something is possible, or shut down other people when they suggest something a little bit out of the ordinary or a little bit hard, they kill the possibility simply with their limited thinking. A lot of people can't even begin to fathom that not drinking might a) be an option at all and b) actually be a better option than what they're doing now. Their behaviour and thinking is so entrenched that it becomes a concrete wall. And if people are thinking that way, it kind of doesn't even matter if I've discovered a beautiful Utopia on the other side of the concrete. They don't believe it exists, so they won't come and see it with me. And how good can a Utopia really be when you're in it all alone? So do you see my problem? I almost feel as if I will return to drinking, not because it's bad being alcohol free, but because it's lonely. It's like getting out of jail and going straight back to bank robbing, just because the only friends you have are robbing banks. It feels somehow like defeat. But if being alone or admitting defeat were your only options, which way would you go?


  1. HHHHHHHHHHmmm dont over think it. Moderation I guess :)

  2. Hi Claire

    It is your soul buddy here from I am now up to 116 days. Who would have thought? I think you are younger than me. I am 35. I think people my age and older are respectful and even jealous that I'm able to pull it off, on the whole. I have even have one fellow really cut down when he heard me talk about the benefits.

    I think you forget the benefits the longer you have been off it. But they are still there.

    It is funny, you can't help evalganalising about the position you take, even though I have tried really hard to tell people I am not down on drinking, there is no right answer, and it is a deeply personal choice as to how much you drink, if any. Alcohol is fun, and it is a tool. At the moment though, I'm very happy being off it.

    But back to the peer group. Sounds like yours is immature, whether or not they would ever admit it. I would have been the odd man out at 22 doing this, or even 26, it is true. But ultimately you're the one who has to get up every morning, with bad skin, "boose tits" (english term I read - love it), a hangover, shame or whatever.

    You might want to get back on it, but another option is to just to continue to chase other goals that may not have been possible on the turps. Outdoors related or whatnot (or in my case, looking fitter!). And find other friends if they are really giving you a hard time. I know, I know, you can't do that. Or can you.

    Having said all that, I still have regret every now and then. I really felt like a few beers last night, as I've had a shit week and I passed a bottle shop I used to pop in to. I have also been in exciting situations in which I have been urged to have a drink as part of an overall descent into debauchery.... If I can say no in that situation I'm bullet proof!

    I see those pangs of missing out, and any other negative consequence of not drinking (and let's face it there are some) as collateral damage in the greater war of being healthy, and feeling and looking like the fit guy, rather than the drunken slob. I want to look young, fit, happy and healthy, and, for me, piss just gets in my way.

    Good luck.

  3. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. Do whatever you need to do to stay in control and remain a free spirit.

  4. Hi Claire - still following your Journey. Stick with it Girl, you are doing great! Never lose your dreams! Midnightson.