On one of my first nights out after I quit drinking, we went out for Friday Night pizza with another family.
I got drunk on wine almost every Friday night at this couples’ home.
I was nervous to order a drink when the waitress came around.
I didn't want to make any sort of announcement.
I wanted to go unnoticed.
My husband and I ordered Diet Cokes.
To be expected...immediately the interrogation from my friend started.
I simply said "I quit drinking".
My friend's husband laughed.
I didn’t blame him.
I had been here before.
Why would he believe me?
He didn’t have to believe me.
I had to believe me.
And I did.
I knew this time was different.
But he didn't know that.
He didn't know the war within I had been fighting for so long.
When he saw I was serious and said “oh ok” with extreme sarcasm.
My girlfriend tried to defend me.
I shrunk with annoyance and embarrassment, for being in this position.
The questioning then went to my husband.
He answered as graciously as he could.
It's like I wasn't even there as people were talking about me in front of me.
I was absolutely cringing.
I did not want the spotlight on me.
I did not want to talk about my drinking or my not drinking.
I wanted to crawl in a hole.
It was a family pizza place.
We were with our kids.
Who cares if I wasn’t drinking?
This is in no way to blame the guy that laughed at me.
I have likely done that myself, to others.
It's a very natural response to someone making a big identity change.
I see this differently now in my hindsight 20/20 vision with nearly 3 years of sobriety under my belt.
If someone who drinks too much is now attempting to drink less or not at all, that something to be praised, celebrated, and supported.
Why is that laughed at?
If I had previously gone 70 days of a 100 day goal, isn’t that great progress and huge success from daily drinking? 70 Days!
Why would anyone see this as a big mistake, because I decided to end my experiment early and have a drink again?
Why now do I have to sit at the table and defend my not using a drug that is hurting me and I have become dependent on?
Aren’t the benefits of attempting to remove it from my life remarkable?
Isn’t it ok (and expected) if it takes a couple tries before it sticks?
We are allowed to explore and research periods of drinking and not drinking to see what suits us best?
Ditching the drink is never a straight line.
It looks different for everyone.
I was wobbly in my first days sober.
I had a lofty goal of not drinking again on this Friday night Pizza Night.
I had never ordered a diet coke or a club soda, I had only ordered wine.
I felt ashamed for having a drinking problem and then ashamed again for addressing it.
Let me tell you the end of the story...
I am now a Certified Professional Recovery Coach helping ditch the drink.
I started own company, Ditched the Drink as a sole proprietor.
My first year in business has been a smashing success and Ditched the Drink has grown fast.
I made a smart business decision to switch from a sole proprietor it to an LLC.
The friend that laughed at me is an attorney at law.
He just set everything up for me and my new company Ditched the Drink, LLC.
I dropped off his cash today.
If that isn’t a redemption story for you I don’t know what is.
Keep putting one wobbly foot in front of the other.
You will look back with no shame and so much pride.
It all started with believing in myself whether or not anyone else did.
For more inspiration on the journey to freedom from alcohol you can read:
It's ok to begin wobbly and uncertain.
Your confidence will grow as you sober muscle grows.
Sobriety is a practice, not an event.
I am here to support you.