Things I Learned From a Party

I helped throw a party for a good friend who is getting married this past weekend. It was held at a winery, then we went to another winery, then dinner, then the group went on to a bar to watch a band and continue the festivities. I bowed out after dinner, which I think was the best call for me at this point in time. I was tired and ready to be at home with my family. It turned out great! I learned a few things that I want to share to help me remember this point in my sober life.

– It gets easier to be around people drinking, but it still feels a bit awkward at 229 days sober. I am much better at doing it than I was six months ago; there is no question. I really think this is different for everyone. I believe that my social life will continue to improve as long as I keep trying, don’t push myself more than I want/need to, and practice being patient. I have discovered that the outside world is there whenever I want to join it. Staying sober comes first!

– I am different now in these types of social situations. I tend to hang with a quieter crowd than I used to. I like being around the non-drinkers… they are interesting and thoughtful. I used to avoid them like the plague or try to get them to drink with me. No longer. Now I feel like they are my people!

– Being social for hours on end makes me TIRED. A good tired, but I need to be able to call it a day/night whenever I want and go home. I will be avoiding a friend’s out-of-town bachelorette party this year for that reason, along with a few other reasons. I still need to be able to escape.

– It is absolutely the best to be able to plan a full day of productive activities the day after a party. In the past the day after would have been totally wasted while I recovered from a horrific hangover. I really love and appreciate this part of living sober.

– People don’t really seem to care whether I am drinking or not. Oh, and I don’t give a damn what people think about me not drinking. This has changed… I felt like I had two heads when I didn’t drink at first. So awkward and judged. Not anymore.

– Social events are more meaningful to me now that I am fully present. My conversations are more genuine, the plans I make matter to me, and I speak my truth instead of becoming blasted and getting overly emotional/complimentary/loud/whatever. I am more real. I feel more uptight than I used to, but I think that will lessen as I become more comfortable being sober around people socially. Like I said before, it is already getting so much easier than it was at first. I have only been sober for 7&1/2 months… that is not a very long time in the grand scheme of things. I can’t wait to see what it feels like at one year! 2 years! 5 years!

Okay… I also don’t want to wish my life away.



12 thoughts on “Things I Learned From a Party

  1. Hi Jen Having attended an 18th bday party this last w/end I agree with everything you said as this was my experience too and making the most of the value of the next day is really good advice 🙂

  2. This is wonderful insight 🙂

    “I believe that my social life will continue to improve as long as I keep trying, don’t push myself more than I want/need to, and practice being patient.”

    These are key steps that I feel like, for me at least, are so easy to forget. It’s hard to get a social life if you don’t make any effort, but you need to recognize personal limits in both sobriety and life and be firm about them because pushing yourself past these is only going to hurt you, and you can’t expect this new sober social life to not be awkward, intimidating, strange, or difficult at first because it is going to be a completely different experience. Patience is key.

    Sounds like you know what you want and need, and are headed in the exact right direction. Congrats on 229 Days! I can’t wait to be where you’re at. Haha

    cheers to many more 🙂

  3. Hi Jen, this sounds like such good down to earth advice to me. I’m still in early days (7 weeks-ish) and nights out feel like something I need to “get through” rather than enjoy, which is daft, because I *have* enjoyed bits of them, if not all. I feel really awkward at first, so self conscious about not drinking. From what you say, I just need to hang in there, and stop expecting everything to change overnight. I look forward to when I can look forward to a night out, if you know what I mean! Anyway, sounds like you organised a fantastic do, and handled it well. Good stuff 🙂 x

  4. sounds like a great night. totally would have bailed after dinner too plus there is no way I would want to position myself at an out-of-town bach party. good call on that front i say. plans the next day is a v. good strategy. it can be done. i agree with you about a year, 3 years, 5 .. it does sound like is just gets better. great post!! i think full congrats are in order.

  5. I loved reading this because the thought of being a winery for a party right now sounds absolutely horrible. I’m glad to know that it can (and will) be manageable once I have more time under my belt. Thank you for this inspiration!

  6. It’s funny ( I seem to be saying that a lot these days), I wouldn’t have possibly alowed myself to be at a potentially non-drinking or boring function without an escape plan , so the reverse should be true while we are attending a drinking function, right? Great post!

  7. I have also noticed how tiring being social sober can be! It makes me wonder if I was drinking to make myself more comfortable/outgoing. Lately u have been thinking that I am more of an introvert… A pretty outgoing one however, but I do find that I enjoy/crave alone time a lot more than I used to. I think I used booze to make me an extrovert.

  8. Elee- I learned a new word today- ambivert!- for those of us who waffle between introvert-ism and extrovert-ism. Jen- thanks for this preview of where I’m heading social-event-wise. At about 5 months without wine, I’m beginning to find social events less awkward. It is totally true that nobody really cares if you are drinking or not. Carrying a glass of something non-alcoholic seems to reassure the host/hostess that they are tending to everyone’s hungers and thirsts. I, too, am finding that having control over when I leave, when I’ve had enough socializing, is key. It makes me wonder what a group of us sober bloggers and lurkers together for a social gathering would be like!! We’ll have to try it sometime- but where? Bermuda? Hawaii?

    Thanks very much for this post, and the solid good sense it contains! And congrats on 229 days! You are beginning to close in on a full year!! What rewards do you have planned for that amazing landmark date??

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