Beers and Fears

I just survived a dinner with friends at nice restaurant with a menu of a lot of beer choices. We were spread out over two tables and shared a bunch of different appetizers. Everyone ordered beer, except one woman, who ordered some fruity cocktail. And me, who ordered a cranberry and tonic. No one questioned my choice or commented. I was offered the beer menu but declined it. One friend offered me a sip of his beer but I said the last drink I had was at the Christmas party with this same group of people. “Wow” one guy said and then moved on to talk about some art project.

I still felt the desire to want a beer just to make me feel comfortable.  Not because they were drinking beers. They could have been having ice teas and I still would have wanted the social lubrication of booze. I know a few of the people in this group more than others, but not that well. But the leaders of the group were at this dinner. We finished volunteering all day for a art festival. The leaders invited the volunteers out for drinks and snacks afterwards. I knew I would be surrounded by alcohol temptation, but I thought it would be a good way to have the group, and the leaders, get to know me. I wanted to be seen as a doer, a contributer, and a team player. I wanted to share in their stories. But being a newbie made me wish I could share a beer also.

There were many moments I thought the dangerous images of “just one beer”. I kept reminding myself where that lead to last year. (This last Memorial weekend marks 1 year since my first relapse, but next week marks 7 months renewed and completely sober.) I worried “they must think I am boring” and “will they all talk about me afterwards and regret inviting me?” I felt like I was in high school again and wondering if I would be accepted at the lunch table. I wanted to leave with the honest excuse I was tired, but didn’t want to be seen as a killjoy.

Alcohol is so evil how you can need for socializing but it also ruins your social skills.

I was worried most about one of the group leaders. She just seems very temperamental and doesn’t seem to like a lot of people. A lot of other people in our circuit have said they fear her. I have always worried she didn’t like me but I think she just doesn’t know me. She is an artistic genius and values hardwork. I wanted to join this gathering to get my face there as a volunteer. I wanted her to know my face.

My plan worked. During the meal, she shared plans with everyone of her new project and she pointed to me “don’t tell anyone about this! Top secret! ” I was giddy.  I earned her trust! By the end, as almost everyone but 3 people were leaving, she asked me if I wanted to stay for another drink. I felt liked. I said I was tired and I would be back early tomorrow to help them set up for the festival. I felt included.

I survived the get-together sober and I think I overcame my fear of this group leader.

7 thoughts on “Beers and Fears

  1. Good 2 see you are back on line! I’m at 137 days and will start counting in months soon…6 months! 20 years ago I began drinking again after 9 years of sobriety. 20 years!!! DUI x 3… the last one landing me in jail for 2 weeks. So many bad choices with men after my divorce 10 years ago. I was broken and almost went broke trying to find love and happiness. I found pain and loneliness. My twin girls are now 30 and each had their first baby last year. I’m a proud sober grandmom and mom to my fantastic, successful, beautiful daughters.
    Your blog really helped me stay in the game this time…. I can really relate. I had my first sober beach weekend in Chincoteague last week. Definitely missed wine! But I did it!!! And it was just fine….. I will keep looking for your posts. Keep up the good work!

  2. Congratulations on making it through! It’s my understanding that if I drink in such situations, it may calm my anxiety but my anxiety will be the same the next time, whereas sober, I’ll feel less. That is unless I mess up spectacularly, in which case there may not be a next time.

    • Another beach weekend on tap…so to speak. I’m expecting less anxiety this time…less thinking about something I will not do anyway. Sometimes I let my mind ponder just one…. and just one is completely unappealing. It would have to be 2! Then for the rest of the day I would feel so much more and anxiety and the fight not to have just one more would be 10 times harder than battling that first drink! There is no winning this game…the answer must be a swift infatic NO! Then move on to grateful thoughts that saying NO is even possible today! God bless us all in our struggles… 🙂

  3. I was just visiting some of the sober sites that helped in those early days… I’m close to the 8 month marker and this blog was one of the first I turned to. Many of your stories were so familiar…the risks and humiliation and losses. I wonder how you are doing…if you have been able to moderate or are still abstaining. I also could never figure out what type of work you do that would allow you the freedom of all those trips! Hope you are well…onward and upward.

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