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!