Are you missing out being sober?

We are both here but it’s different. I’m not thirsty for you, tonight for the first time I see what you are. I don’t even look at you and when I get asked if I want a drink I say no without hesitation. Tonight I’m in control. Not you or anyone else.

Thursday night was the first test, a work event that I attended sober. I have attempted this a million times before, even driven my car to hold me accountable. More times then none I would end up drinking more than I normally would and then have to deal with a hefty fine in the morning because I have left my car in a clear way.

I arrived at the event alone and walked in nervously. Usually I would of already had a few drinks to have taken the edge off. I locate my colleagues quickly and we are all gathered near the bar. They have all been drinking prior to the event but to be honest it wasn’t noticeable. In the first couple of hours a few people ask me why I am not drinking and I reply with saying I’m having a night off. The subject changes fast and people want to talk about other things. For once I have my colleagues and clients talking to me and I am able to engage and listen to what they are saying. A couple of hours pass and I notice people getting drunker and the music getting louder. I breathe and take in the moment, I feel energised by the people I’m surrounded by and the upbeat music. I’m soon dancing, laughing and everyone including myself have forgotten I’m sober. The only time I am reminded is when someone questions how much have I had to drink? I reply nothing!
Midnight arrives, tiredness creeps over me and I no longer want to stand on my sore feet. I say my good byes mentioning I have an early flight the next morning.

In the taxi home I reminisce of similar rides but previously they have been when the sun is rising. I would be sitting in the same seat with my head in my hands feeling alone. It’s as if as soon as you leave the bar anxiety and depression are waiting to grab you. All types of worry and angst would go through my head, physically and mentally I was exhausted.
As I am sitting in this taxi now I think why the fuck would I have put myself through those emotions? For what? The fear that if I don’t drink alcohol I won’t have the experiences I have when I am drunk. Those meaningful conversations, dancing like you are the only one in the room and laughing so hard your whole body hurts. I had those experiences tonight they weren’t as intense but I know I’ll remember them tomorrow and there are no regrets.

Connecting with people is a a part of me, it’s what contributes to my happiness. This can make me vulnerable especially when I’ve consumed too much alcohol, I loose all my inhibitions and inhibitions are there to protect me. I crave the intimate moments that come with losing my inhibitions but I have continuously put myself in situations where there is too much risk. The amount of times I have woken up the next day and watched a video where I am sloppy on the dance floor and actually look like a dickhead. Waking up to a messages where people has been offended from something I have said or I have told someone something I shouldn’t have. Coming in on a Monday morning and being disciplined for making inappropriate jokes at a work event and I should be more professional.
It’s not worth it and it’s not who I want to be. Going to a work event sober didn’t stop me from connecting with people or having fun. I had all these experiences but this time I also kept my integrity.


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