no explanation, no justification

dinner last night, group of 9 people.

mr: “where’s your glass?”

Me: (looking around for my tea cup) oh, it’s in the kitchen.

mr: “are you on or off?”

(he knows that i was off-alcohol the last time he saw me in May)

Me:  off

mr: “oh.  next time i’ll check first, before i say i’m coming to dinner, to find out if you’re on or off.  It’s not the same if you’re off.”

Me: (big smile, shrug with a ‘what can you do” look on my face. no explanation, no justification.)

Yes, at these group dinners, this one guy and i often *drank a lot* and could get quite loud and hilarious. So he’s missing his drinking buddy. (Thank god i knew enough from everyone else’s blogs to realize that his behavior was textbook stuff.)

But also, more tellingly, the last time i saw him in May, and i was off, he said then that he also wanted to cut back, felt he drank too often, living alone it was the only way to fill evenings, etc.

So i’m sure it sucked rocks for him to have me sitting there last night, cheshire cat-like, having a lovely time at dinner, sober.  I didn’t try to *hide* that i wasn’t drinking. in fact, at dinner, while everyone else enjoyed the homemade cocktails, the champagne, the wine, and the grand marnier that i put on the table … I made a big pot of tea and put it on the table next to my plate, and over the course of the evening i proceeded to drink the entire pot.

not one single person gave a shit. except mr-lonely-drinker-why-do-you-have-to-be-my-mirror.

OK so i guess i’m still gloating.  good morning day 19. I’ve never been here before 🙂


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Belle, you rocked from the beginning!! I hope I will be able to keep my head high and stay motivated in the same way if I get into a similar situation.

  • Belle at day 19! How cute! I love this. There is always wine involved in this group of volunteers that I work with a number of times a month. My friends are biting at the bit waiting for my 100 days to be over….I haven’t addressed it much except to say, I was not drinking until my divorce finalized. Now that we are getting there, I’ll have to decide what I will or won’t say. They actually are counting down for me! I have felt the need to justify my not drinking at times, because I was SUCH a big drinker, and SUCH a FUN drinker. So, I’m not going out socially with them, but I am having to navigate these meetings that usually end up in a fun dance party with wine spilling everywhere. It’s like, I have to let go of the obligation to bring The FUN, in a sense. They all relied on that, so it’s a bit awkward to not know who I am among drinkers when I am sober.

  • Poor Mr. I TOTALLY get that hope that the other big drinker will be there and you can cover each others backs while you misbehave. it kinds of partner in crime and a big loss. I wonder though – has anything changed for his since then. What you did was show that you were able to relax and communicate and be a part of things without alcohol. For me, a celebrations of social gathering WITH ALOCHOL would actually use my social anxiety and fear and add me to the periprery and keep my quietly happy in my own mind.

  • That was BOLD: “I’ll check next time before I come. It’s not not the same when you’re off.” That sounds like booze talking. And isn’t that the point!? That it’s not the same? Not the same poison fest. Not the same sickness and regret come morning? That statement probably would have been very hurtful had you not read blogs alerting you to the fact that his wolfie was howling at you. Congratulations to you!

  • My sobriety was a total wet blanket for my old drinking buddies when I first stopped drinking. I moved across country at nine months sober, so I have never had to deal with that particular group again but it is certainly awkward as ass in the early days.

    Congratulations on your continued sobriety 🙂

  • Yippee on Day 19! Every day after this will be like a new present waiting to be opened and what ever pops out, you’re going to be able to handle it. Your friend is watching you, just like my friend is watching me, just like we watched those that went before us that showed us that life without alcohol is worth living and then some.

    • holy, thanks for this Kary May, you’re sooo right. he IS watching me. i used to stare at non-drinkers, too, thinking their lives must be so un-fun.

  • Day 19 looks super to me for you. You are doing an amazing job of holding your own in company-one of the hardest places to retain dignity and sobriety. You have many reasons to be proud of yourself. Keep up the good work.

  • Good for you! A colleague’s disappoint about my not drinking derailed me the first time. The next day, full of shame and guilt, I realized it’s more worth disappointing him for ten minutes than it is disappointing myself for weeks. I’m almost at the 60 days mark and happy.

  • Your post will help me this weekend when I face my drinking buddies! Wish me luck! Day 4…sober
    Take care. Jen. My goal is to get to Day 19 now! …then Day 30…. Then Day 60….

    • Hi Jen, nice to “meet” you 🙂 Day 4 is great! I thought Day 7/8 kind sucked, but then Day 9 was a really cool turning point. The elation started round day 16. well, that’s all I know so far (i’m on day 19 now)… Keep us posted on how your elation feels, when it comes, and if you’re good at saying “damn, i’m great!”

  • way. to. GO. and way to handle “Mr.” too! i think we’ll see him blogging here with us one of these days! 😉 i’m so proud of you!
    and i love your idea of the big pot of tea on the table– thank you because i’m going to do the same!

  • Amazing what insight one suddently has into others! Well done and you are welcome to gloat all you want!
    Cleo xx

  • Day 19 is a wonderful place to be. Congratulations on your achievement! : )
    I am so pleased you had an idea about where he was coming from – comments like that can be so upsetting if you’re unprepared.
    Big yay for you and your progress x

    • thanks imogen. i wrote a comment on BBB’s blog yesterday and it feels really true (still):

      “i was reading someone’s blog yesterday, she had 2 days [sober]. i wanted to say something like *just get to day 9, even if you have to hide in the closet or under the covers, even if you cry nonstop, just get to 9 days. then get to 16 days, then you’ll see that stuff starts to change.* … i’m happier now than i’ve been in a long time. it doesn’t matter how you get there. just get there : )”

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