I struggled harder than I’ve ever struggled so far during the duration of my sobriety.
I know this is going to sound like bragging and I promise I’m not but I really have been extremely solid with my sobriety this go-around. It’s been about 18 months roughly and not even for one second, have I considered breaking my sobriety. Not one time. Not for one second this entire time. Until Friday.
Friday was obviously st. Patrick’s day but Friday in Lincoln park, Michigan was also a “very cool” girl’s birthday (everybody and their mom knows her and everyone comes out to party) and this specific girl is known for her massive house parties on her birthday/st.patricks day. She’s a great friend of mine, she’s also Irish so she goes big on her birthday. And she’s also super popular. The entire town heads to her house on st. Patrick’s day.
I’ve been to a shit load of house parties, and gatherings that usually have alcohol involved. I’ve even been to the bar!! And not for one single second did I ever think “oh that sounds good.” Because even when my brain tried to think “oh that sounds good” it’s immediately followed up in my head with “BUT definitely not good for YOU.” And I respect that boundary I’ve set for myself. So, I’ve been solid. I can be around the drinking and it normally has zero effect or even acknowledgement from me.
But I fucking struggled this time. It was the blatant amount of shots being passed around that got to me. It was the fact that I was surrounded by my friends for over 15 years now. I heard small whispers of “oh poor her she can’t drink” and I wish that they hadn’t even made it a thing at all. It’s not a thing to me but hearing it said… Honestly at a couple different points in time, I almost said fuck it. But I didn’t. Instead, I watched. I watched how everyone went from semi sober to drunk to completely shit faced. And, suddenly it didn’t seem fun to me anymore.
Then last night, I went downtown. Normally, I’m unbothered but again, I was bothered. I was annoyed that I was sitting in a bar downtown and only ordered myself a Pepsi. I actually forgot my i.d at home and the bouncer wasn’t going to let me in until I told him that I’m pushing 2 years of sobriety, I don’t want to drink, or start any trouble. The building I was at, is part bar, part pizza joint, part bowling alley and upstairs is a concert venue and there was in fact a concert going on, so it was packed. I ended up sitting at the bar waiting for a bowling lane to open up and while I was sitting there, I started to watch again. I watched the rowdiness just slowly get more extreme. Detroit’s not a joke especially when it comes to alcohol. It’s important to keep your head on a swivel when you’re downtown in an alcohol-filled environment, especially being a female and especially at night time. And of course, it got wild. I’m pretty sure even the bouncers were drunk. There were multiple fights that broke out, I ended up leaving before I even got to bowl. But whatever. I stayed sober and out of trouble. I stayed in my lane and I kept to myself but I was also present and trying to be a good sport for my friends.
So at the end of this weekend, I’m feeling really proud that I was able to stay true to myself. I’m also Irish and my family are huge drunks so st.pattys is usually our freakin day to go wild. So given all of the circumstances, I still think I did pretty freakin good.
I normally drink red bull when I’m feeling an alcohol craving. For whatever reason, red bull subdues that craving for me. Maybe it’s the funky smell and taste. What are some of your guys’ go to drinks for when you know you are going to be in an environment where alcohol is involved? What do you drink to keep your brains occupied from thinking about alcohol?
I know I did solid. I know I won’t break still. But it really did scare me to have caught myself contemplating it like I don’t already know for a fact that it’s a definite no.
P.s normally my friends are REALLY freakin awesome about making sure I am comfortable. They really go out of their way to make sure of it. But this past time was different and I can’t expect them to be so understanding every time, especially during holidays and birthdays.
When they poured shots for themselves, they pour me a shot of red bull so I still feel included. Maybe it was the fact that this was the first true “house party,” I’ve been to since my sobriety and 3 years ago, that would have been my jam. 3 years ago I was just as shit faced with them crawling through windows and shit with the exact same group of people. This time, I was the supervisor of their shenanigans. I was the sober one making sure they were safe.
Maybe it was just a mixture of all of it put together but I swear, it was really hard this time guys. Even though I have it burnt into my subconscious at this point, I still struggled. How do you guys help yourselves when you feel like you are struggling?