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