Even as a trained sober coach and someone with almost six years of sobriety under her belt, there are still situations that feel awkward to me as a sober person, and last weekend I experienced one of them.
I went to a birthday dinner for someone I adore. In addition to my husband and I, the birthday guy and wife, there were two additional couples that joined. I was only slightly acquainted with them. We went to a great place with a beer hall-type atmosphere and sat at a long table. It was restaurant week in Chicago, so our whole table shared the pre-fixe meal. The menu included two Gruvi NA beers and an amazing zero-proof old-fashioned made with alcohol-free cinnamon whiskey. All good.
When the party guests arrived and saw my beautiful old fashioned, they asked, “Is that an old fashioned?” "Yes, it is!” I replied proudly. “It’s delicious. I don’t drink alcohol, so it’s the zero proof version.” No one...
I used to be gone drinking every Memorial Day. It was tradition. I was pretending to have so much fun in pools and boats. Some of it was fun. Some of it was not. I am not faulting the company that I was in. I thank the hosts so much for their generosity. The problem wasn’t with them, the problem was with me.
I didn’t know myself. I didn’t know what I wanted or what I needed. I wasn’t comfortable anywhere. Truth be told, I loved the excuse to drink all weekend. I think everybody did. I am not sure anyone drank as much as me, but that’s not my business.
I was anxious.
I woke up with hangovers and shame and did it again on repeat for 3 days of the holiday weekend instead of two.
I needed to start the summer with a big splash. Literally, lol.
I needed to prove we were having So. Much. Fun. I needed my drinking, around others, in the daytime, to be super normal. I needed to compare myself to other drinkers so I could say “See? I am...