Here is a sad thought:
For the past 10+ years, Alcohol was my Best Friend Forever.
Through college, I had friends, but I would organize my social outings and doings so that I would inevitably get drunk. I worked really hard to make sure drinking was always involved. I thought my college friends were awesome people, but I thought I was just flaky. That I wasn’t the bonding type. I had several groups that I bounced between, but I didn’t ever sink down deep into one. I thought it was just me – a social butterfly without a home. I believe, if I reached out Now, I would be able to cultivate deeper friendships with those people. However, as it stands, they are not the friends-of-a-lifetime network so many other people create for themselves.
I always thought it was just me. That I was a little bit of a friend to everyone, so I didn’t have the connected at the hip group I saw so many others have.
I also thought, maybe it’s because I have one best friend from high school still, and she is the person I cling to and hold onto. She’s my anchor. … So much so, that I thought maybe I didn’t have room for more friends to add into the mix. Because my BF is so important to me, I thought my energy couldn’t be shared in the same way with other people.
I’m really sad to realize that I did have the energy and could have put in the effort to really be with a core group of people all through college, but instead I devoted all of my spare time and energy to making sure I could drink. And how weird, because I was incredibly social when I would drink, but the friends around me would switch and change regularly because I would follow the Drink rather than the People. …. So sad.
What a schmuck I was. A sad, lonely schmuck who thought she was surrounding herself with people. Instead, I didn’t even know myself that I was solely focused on drinking and getting drunk.
Oddly enough, in my twenties, I equated drinking with being mature. With being an adult. I sought it out because I thought it was glamorous and I thought it made me glamorous. I thought it made the people around me glamorous. I encouraged every night to include drinking in some way, shape, or form. I would drink instead of study. I would go to the party instead of sitting and talking with a girlfriend. I missed out forging deep friendships to last me a lifetime. Again, so sad.
And now? Seven weeks into sobriety, I am looking around me and the most beautiful thing is happening. I see People in my Life, rather than Booze. My energy and my time is being shared with living, breathing, beautiful human beings, rather than a sloshy
glass bottle of wine. In the past three weeks, I have been more social and more engaged with other people than I have in more than a decade. Look at all of these wonderful happenings….
- Bonding with cast members after an evening rehearsal
- Went out with two girlfriends (A & B) to catch-up over wings
- Spent a weekend with my parents
- Went on New adventures (at least four new places/things …. Sculpture Gardens, Mini-Golfing, the Mall of America, a new movie, a hike, a visit to the zoo) during the day with my babes
- Spent most of a day with one of my very favorite former students (C)
- Had a girlfriend over for breakfast and a walk (D)
- Had another girlfriend over for dinner and a visit (E)
- Shared one of my shows with a third girlfriend (F), and then went out for delicious treats and a long talk
- Closed one show and then went to an alcohol-free party last night (something I never would have even considered doing had I been drinking – I would have needed to rush home and drink as much as I could before I had to go to bed)
- Went to a grad party for A’s son
- I now have plans with three more people (G, H, I) in the coming three days, plus evening plans with D&E
- Had a creative meeting with a former grad about a future theatre production (J)
- Then, after three days of crammed people-time, the hubs and I are taking a vacation up North with the babes to relaaaaax…..
Sheesh! So much people-time! With all these letters, I feel like singing ‘Boom-Chicka-Boom-Boom…. Meet you at the top of the coconut tree!’ (Moms? Dads? You with me?)
Plus, another cool aspect of sobriety is that I’ve been texting more regularly with my sister (who lives in Australia), as well as with friends – one of whom is feeling sad about the health of her cat. Crazy-Loner-Leave-Me-Alone-I-Need-To-Drink-Me is actually being a Good Friend! It’s weird to write that in such an elementary way, but because I’ve been so flaky and so distant for so many, many, many years, it truly is remarkable. My life is so full of wonderful people – people who I care about and am concerned for and who I love. And I love that I have the energy to love them. I’m not sitting at the bottom of a bottle. I’m not barricading my evenings with nuclear warheads in order to keep people out. Suddenly, my life is richer with more people near me. … I always thought it was just me. That I just wasn’t a people-person. … Lightning Bolt: Turns out I was just a drunk. Not being a drunk is so much more amazing. And full. And happy.
Day 54, I get by with a little help….