The Girl Can Leave the Party, But the Party Doesn't Leave the Girl

The Girl Can Leave the Party, But the Party Doesn't Leave the Girl

Choosing not to drink is a very difficult choice, not only if you like to drink and enjoy to party, but you take into consideration you've spent more of your years on this earth doing it than years not. Add to it, the early years you were not doing it yourself, per say, but those around you were. Quite excessively. Drinking felt normal... Until one day, it didn't. As if the lights were turned on and you were told the party was over and to go home... but you didn't want to.

That is where the struggle comes into play. I don't feel like I really had a choice in the matter. The way I started to feel emotionally would change and it was almost as if my mind would turn on me. I suppose I could have continued to drink through it, but after knowing first hand what it was like to be the child of an alcoholic there was no way I could risk putting my kids through the same experience.

Another struggle is society's reaction to you if you don't drink, and depending on where I am in my sobriety that day, it can make or break me. More than not, I do NOT come off as a poster child for sobriety. For example, here are 2 common conversations I find myself in;

Convo 1:

you don't drink?

Why?!

I can't imagine....

How do you have fun?

What I want to say:

"Ummmm, well, I didn't realize I wasn't having fun. Trying to breathe through anxiety attacks and wanting to throw myself in front of a bus after a night of drinking wasn't much fun. So I had to weigh them out, you know? Party like a rock star and eventually kill myself or just stop and focus on living each day and be present as a mother and human. Can you pass the bread?"

What I typically say:

I know. I only recommend it as a last resort.

Convo 2:

Me: Hi! Can I order a Moscow Mule, hold the vodka?

Bartender: It's not a Moscow Mule without vodka. Why would you order that?

What I want to say:

The same reason I own a lingerie store and choose to go commando sometimes... To fuck with you.

What I typically say:

Can I get a tonic with lime? HOLD the VODKA.

The truth is, I miss it. I miss getting buzzed. Having a drink as my release. Wine tastings. Laughing (sometimes cringing) with friends about last nights events. I don't miss the hangovers... although I can admit that in my first year of sobriety after certain events my experience felt a little less than because it wasn't concluded with a hangover. As I write this I can hear how crazy it sounds... 'You were jealous of hangovers?!'

I was, because I can absolutely romanticize every angle of drinking.

The glass in my hand.

The celebratory toast.

The pretty cocktails.

Fortunately, I can't romanticize the after effects.

The sadness.

The panic.

The shame.

Leaving the party was one thing for this girl, but learning how to 'party' again has been a long process of acceptance, letting go and self-discovery. I accept that my after party is one that will take me down. Not drinking has forced me to face myself and dig into who I am; I'm a girl who still likes to be out late. Sleep in on weekends. Laugh until she cries. Get caddy and chatty with friends. Indulge. Workout like crazy. Make love whenever possible. Stay home on Friday nights and veg out. Go to the movies. READ. Stare at social media. Dance. Sing... really awfully, but sing anyway. Connect with new people. Try different experiences. It turns out, this girl left the party, but the party didn't leave the girl..