Updated: Jan 29
At the bar I don't elbow anyone out of the way. I stand unnoticed for far too long. I don't mind. I'm not as desperate for my fizzy water with a twist of lime as I was for wine. The questions that used to fill my head are gone...
Whats shall I start with? Wine or Beer? Should I get two, save queuing again? A bottle or a glass? All I'm thinking is,
'Isn't it noisey in here' my personality has been replaced with that of an 80 year old nun.
A handsome barman with a line of sweat dribbling from his brow takes my order.
'A fizzy water please' I say with embarrassment.
'Vodka with fizzy water?'
'No, just fizzy water.... I'm driving' I lie.
Saying 'sorry dear, I'm an alcoholic' might dampen the moment. He hands me the drink and I'm amazed when I get change. Giving up drinking has financial benefit, I'm yet to find many other benefits. quite yet.
There are no other Mums at the bar, I got away with it. They don't know I don't drink. I want to keep it a secret so they still think I'm fun. This is only my third time socialising since bidding farewell to the bottle. I've managed to avoid all parties, drink sessions and boozy play dates for a year. I stayed at home watching Netflix. Telling groups on Messenger that the kids are sick. It's easy to stay home forever when you're a mum. Kids are a never ending excuse.
I walk towards the table. It's filled with silver ice buckets, crisp cold bottles of white are planted in ice cubes. The Mums sit grasping bulbous glasses awaiting the glug sound of the wine sloshing from the bottle as it's turned up-side-down into their shining vessels.
I park my bum at the end of the table and sip on my water. I feel like a dying hippo sitting in the last puddle of water in a fading oasis. It's just me. I feel alone. This harsh environment would have felt lush when fuelled by wine. Now, sober, I'm drowning in a river of alcohol. My mouth is full of water, I can't even speak. I wish someone would take my hand, save me, teach me how to do this.
I scan the room for the nearest exit...
Pic - This is a picture of me on holiday in France. This is why sober socialising is hard. it's the first time Ive had to listen, to respond and to be present in the moment. Falling over into the gutter and being woken by a bin man was my go to. Change is hard.