Life without alcohol: eight months sober

I didn’t do a seven-month update because things were so busy last month. I think that shows that sobriety is starting to feel more normal to me and I’m not as obsessed with counting the days as I was at the start of the year.

Sky and trees

I suppose my main preoccupation on the subject over the last couple of months has been the double-headed discomfort that (1) drinking is so normalised in society – while I do make use of various sober support groups, I find that in my ‘real life’, I’m the only one who doesn’t drink – and (2) problematic habits around drinking are not taken seriously and seen as a bit of a laugh by a lot of people who still drink. I obviously used to have this attitude too – it’s the way I grew up, because it’s the way we all grow up – and now that I’ve been detached from it for a few months, I find it quite scary how insidious the whole thing is. Whether it’s my Slimming World group endlessly joking about how really we should be called an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or a favourite podcast of mine doing a special episode where the participants are drunk, I find that at the moment I’m just really uncomfortable with alcohol use being treated in such a lighthearted way. Maybe I’ll never be comfortable with it again. I don’t know.

I also ran into a lot of difficulty on the synthwave night out last week. Being stone cold sober when other people there were really, really drunk (too drunk even to stand up or hold a conversation in some cases) was really quite unnerving and a bit upsetting. I didn’t feel comfortable at all – I had been looking forward to enjoying the music, but I found that it wasn’t really a space where I could do that.

I’ve started to encounter things that make me sad and nostalgic about drinking itself. It’s taken longer than expected, but it is occasionally happening now. This week, I’ve been playing pirate video games – pirates are one of my favourite themes, to the extent that the novel I’m querying at the moment (and have been working on since 2011) is set on a pirate island – and of course they’re all full of rum and drinking games, and I’ve just been feeling sad about the fact that I can’t identify with all of that anymore. Maybe I should watch a few recovering alcoholic cop shows for good measure. Bergerac was always a favourite.

Two minutes is my current limit when standing in the alcohol aisle at the supermarket before I have to get out of there. I discovered this today when Geth and I were hunting for Nosecco in Sainsburys. Still, it’s an improvement on early sobriety, when I couldn’t go near the place.

I’ve reviewed a grand total of one booze alternative over the last two months:

This is mainly because I’ve been a bit too busy for non-diary blogging lately, but also partly because, as I mentioned in my last update, I know what I like now.

I’ve also been a bit too busy to keep up with my recovery support as much as I would like, but I have been working on it here and there. It needs to be more of a priority over the next month.

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