Day 8-27

An interesting thing happens when you sober up. I’ve done it twice now and both times I’ve declared “I’m sober!”, the Universe has responded with, “Let’s put it to the test!”.

I was with a friend the other night, and we were re-capping all the exciting stuff from our week. I talked about some writing I had done, and a new hike I found, and probably talked too much about all the hysterical stuff my dog did over the weekend. My friend told me all about their weekend full of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll (literally). They went into exquisite, play-by-play detail of where they went, what was ingested, and who they left with. I listened to each word with nothing but envy.

For a moment, I thought about giving up my sobriety because, for a moment, staying out until sunrise just to see how many shots I could take and what I could put up my nose and how many phones I put my number in only to forget the next day, sounded like so. much. fun.

Thankfully, the moment was fleeting and as quickly as I whined, “No fair!”, I had snapped back to my sober reality, which really isn’t all that bad.

But, this got me thinking. And before I go any further, I want to say now, that I am not passing judgement. I’m observing, and have grown more and more curious, as to why some things are the way they are.

Why is it acceptable for us to engage with one another when we are incoherent or even incapacitated?

Why do so many social interactions REQUIRE alcohol and/or drugs?

Why do we need these crutches to hold basic conversations?

How did “liquid courage” become our norm?

Why can’t we have fun without it?

What the EFF are we so afraid of?

I realize asking these questions makes me sound like a square, which is a risk I’m willing to take because I really want to know. And I really want to know because I’m guilty of doing all of these things I’m now questioning, and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!

I’ll be the first one to say, sobriety can be really boring. I want to blame my friends for not calling or my lack of a boyfriend or my dog for not being able to talk, but at the end of the day, sobriety is boring because I’m hiding in my room behind a blog, too afraid to see what people are doing on a Friday night because if I get shot down, my sober ego won’t be able to take the hit.

Even now, I feel empowered, strong, and independent in most of my daily activities, but if you “dare” me to text the guy I like to see if he wants to Netflix and chill, I immediately change my request to “truth”.

Maybe it’s just me and this is all some deep-seeded dirty laundry I need to keep in my closet and/or therapist’s office, but maybe it isn’t, and maybe sometimes we all get a little anxious by the idea of interacting with one another without holding onto a glass of wine. Maybe it’s just easier for all of us to hide. You can hide behind your cocktail in plain sight, and I’ll stay in my room until I decide to drink again because I don’t want to see yours and I sure as shit don’t want to show you mine (personalities, not genitals, get your head out of the gutter).

At the end of the day, we’re all just skin sacks, clinging to a massive rock, moving through pitch black infinite space, controlled by something we can not conceive. And what’s so scary about that?

Can we do this? Can we be present and confident and honest without a minimum 5% alcohol by volume? Can we have dinner without drinks? (I did last night and it was great). Can we just be our-damn-selves and can that PLEASE be enough?!

I really hope I pass the Universe’s test and these don’t just turn out to be trick questions

Day 7

Woot! One week sober (again)! So how does it feel?!

Well, I’m so bloated that while I was checking out at the grocery store earlier, someone said “congratulations”, and I’m pretty sure I just hacked up an actual piece of my lung.

Sobriety is really doing wonders for my sex appeal.

But seriously, it feels freaking great. I feel like I’m back on track. I can’t remember the last time I went a week without a drink or a cigarette (just kidding, yes I can, it was 2015, but you get what I’m trying to say).

My first week sober was easy. My mom came to town and while she was here we realized history was repeating itself. She had come to visit me during my first week of sobriety last year, and I remember being super grateful to have her there because she helped keep me on track. This time around was no different. Eva doesn’t let me get away with much, so even if I wanted to drink or smoke (which I did), it wasn’t going to happen on her watch.

We had a great weekend. She came to surprise me with two of our family friends and we spent three straight days laughing and exploring and eating. One of these friends is a nineteen year old aspiring actress, who reminds me a lot of myself ten years ago. She’s hopeful and determined, although definitely more mature than I was at nineteen. I can tell she means it when she says she wants to be an actress and I can tell she’s going to give this city hell once she moves here.

I guess my first weekend sober, with these amazing people, made me really grateful for present and cognitive interactions. I forgot how good it feels to sit across the table from someone and listen to every word they say. I forgot how good it feels to laugh until I cry. I forgot how good it feels to wake up bright and early to have coffee with my Mama. I forgot how good it feels to go to bed at 10pm. I forgot how good it feels to feel like I’m enough without a drink in my hand.

Yeah, I’d say this week was packed full of friendly reminders.

 

Day 2

That’s right folks, I’m two days in to a new sober challenge, and so far so good.

Yesterday, I spent the better half of the day nursing a pretty solid hangover and reflecting on things I won’t miss about drinking (that hangover being at the very top of the list).

So, okay, hangovers are an obvious one, but what else am I happy to bid adeu?

There’s one thing in particular.

One of my favorite female comedians is Iliza Schlesinger and she has this great stand-up bit about “party goblins”. We all got ’em and they’re all terrible.

My party goblin lives in a dark cave somewhere in my cerebral cortex. Most of the time, party goblin is passed out behind a dumpster with visions of empty wine bottles dancing in her head, but when she wakes up, Lord help us.

It doesn’t take much to awaken my party goblin, just a few sips of a chilled white wine and party goblin is up and ready to take over the rest of my night. You see, party goblin does all the stuff Amelia gets to regret the next day. Party goblin challenges Amelia to smoke as many cigarettes as possible in a four hour period. Party goblin tells Amelia she needs to take that double shot of whiskey. Party goblin starts telling all of Amelia’s deep dark secrets to anybody that will listen. Party goblin whispers “call him” as Amelia walks home from the bar. Party goblin is that friend you had in college that you only went out with because she’d get so drunk and weird that she actually made you look better. In short, party goblin sucks.

See, it’s easy and even kind of funny to blame your poor life choices on a mystical character that you’ve made up so that you don’t have to face the reality that when you drink, it’s you that sucks, not the goblin. Because just like the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny, party goblins don’t actually exist (sorry to burst your bubble). That means, whatever I do when I drink, is on me, and when I wake up the next morning and regret something I said or did, there’s no one to blame but myself.

So, starting today (well, technically, yesterday), I no longer believe in the party goblin. I recognize that sometimes I don’t always make great choices and I have to take responsibility for that.

I want to know more about that part of myself, the part that continues to let alcohol affect her decision making in a negative way. I want to put myself back in the same situations, take away the booze, and see if I still have the urge to do or say the same things. My guess is that I won’t because as we all know, alcohol gives us a reason to release our inhibitions. But why are my inhibitions so aggressive and dramatic? What part of me feels so trapped on a daily basis that the second I give it a release, it unleashes what feels like months of pent up, attention-seeking angst, onto the closest, innocent bystander?

I’m hoping to have a few solid answers for you guys in the next four months.