Friday, 7 March 2014

Round 2, Day 60: Big week, no booze!

For the past couple of days I've had some huge challenges: airplane travel, hotel stay, attending a conference, presenting at the conference. I didn't talk about it up till now, mostly because I was so worried and I didn't want to feed the worry-machine mind. But I'm through most of it and all is good. In fact, it was kick-ass marvellous all the way through!

First, I flew without wine. Seven hours flying, no wine. That's a definite first. I wasn't even nervous. (Maybe my flight nerves are really just boozy nerves? Or maybe all that knitting was like a special calming drug.)

Second: I ordered hotel room service without wine. Just a delicious bowl of gumbo some mint tea. And then I had a bath and went to bed. You hear that? Room service without booze? That's another first for me!

Third: I waltzed through two free drinks receptions drinking soda and lime all the way through. No free booze for me, thanks. (Who is this person?)

Fourth, and this is the big one: I got through--no, I aced--a big presentation of my academic work, one that I've been preparing/worrying about for months. I talked, people listened, they nodded and laughed appropriately, they asked good questions, and afterwards there was some great conversation about it. This is the most serious academic thing I have ever had to do, and I really was worried leading up to it, but I was calm and focused. I actually really enjoyed doing it! And afterwards, I took myself away and relaxed for a quiet hour. But I did not drink wine to celebrate!

OK, maybe that sounds more like a list of what I didn't do: I didn't drink. Repeat as necessary. But for me, this was all a big deal. I love (love love love) staying in hotels, but I can't remember the last time I've done that without wine. Ditto room service. Free booze reception, can you spell trigger at all? And then celebration after a big project is done? This was always going to be the biggest challenge for me. I has planned and imagined my way through most of the situations, so I was prepared.

What surprised me was how much I enjoyed not drinking! I was wonderful to actually, fully enjoy talking to people, without worrying about getting another drink, or whether I was getting loud/slurry/pink/whatever. I know everyone says this, how good it is to have that relief, but holy, it's so true!

So here I am in a strange city, one day of conference left and then a little time to visit a few places before I head back. I still have some challenges ahead--dinner out by myself tomorrow in some nice place I find, and then flying back the next day. But so far it's been great, and I will be attentive but not worried about what's left.

OK, that's all I got here. Just bath (there's a bathtub!) and bed left for me today. I'm wiped after a big couple of days. But I'm really proud of myself. Being able to not just get through but really enjoy the challenge of the presentation and the travel and talking with some seriously interesting people and all that conference stuff, and not even miss the booze while I'm doing it--that feels like a big whopping good thing to me. Hooray for that.

Thanks for reading. Wishing you some seriously lovely sober peace and joy. I've got some, too!

12 comments:

  1. Grounded, powerful, sane -- on all counts. I've been exactly there and also made it through. You will wake up with all the "I didn't" behind you and all the "maybe" ahead for your academic career.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. I love your 3 words: "grounded, powerful, and sane." I'm going to write that on a card and put it above my desk, because really, that's how I want to be. (Not how I always am, for sure!) You know, after I wrote this post, the next couple of days were really hard, and your comment helped me stay on course. Many thanks to you! xo

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  2. Fabulous, TS :o) I'm totally thrilled for you and understand all that you say here (boy, do I!)

    You're doing an amazing job and this post is EXACTLY what it's all about.

    This is why we're doing it!

    Happily landings :o)

    G x

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    1. Thanks, Gray! It's so good to be able to talk about the good things and have people get it. Ongoing moral support much appreciated! Yes, this is why we're doing it, and I'm glad to know we are all in it together. Happily landings indeed! xo

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  3. ps - "Happily" was a typo .... but I liked the look of it so I left it :o)

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    1. Happily happily happily. I like it too!

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  4. This is sooooo fine! I am your twin- in medical academia! Ditto flying, hotels, room service and celebrating after a big presentation. Nowadays in these situations, I vascillate between enjoying the freedom of not worrying about the next drink (mostly) and feeling wistful that the white wine really looks so good (less and less). Congratulations on a major accomplishment!!

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    1. Thanks for this, Carrie. Yes, you know how it goes. I had lots of wistful moments, too, and they're still pretty hard to get through. But we're getting through it, and that vice grip of the wine is loosening, which is a fine thing. Take care. xo

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  5. YAY Thirsty! Way to go. Really glad to hear your presentation went well too. That's awesome. I can feel your relief on many levels. XX

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    1. Thanks, Sue. It's a big relief indeed. I really super appreciate your support. Imagine, my relief being felt all the way to New Zealand! There's nothing like having good company along the way. Hope you're doing well, too. xo

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  6. Oh this is awesome to read and HOORAY WHOOT WHOOT for you. As someone still getting back on my feet (and big thanks for your email by the way and sorry I haven't replied as yet), it's great to be reminded of those feelings, which I have had, where you are actually, genuinely glad and happy not to be drinking. How big a sign is that to say that this is the right path?

    All of those things would be MASSIVE triggers so I'd say this represents a massive exponential move forward in your recovery. Yay you!

    Lilly xo

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    1. Oh, Lilly, thanks for your kindness. Yes, when it's good, being sober is great, and when it's really bloody hard--which it was a day later--it's important for me to hold on to how good it can be. I really appreciate you being here. Take good care of yourself. xo

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