Navigating Nights Out – Part 2

What a difference three days make! I was so, so low last time I wrote. I had suicidal thoughts and I hadn’t had a drink, which is insane. My mind was in overdrive, not being able to sort out one thought before eight more descended without warning. I hadn’t really spoken to anyone at all and left with my own thoughts and not able to share them – it’s a recipe for disaster. Overthinking everything and not being able to let it out with anyone I trust was a burden I could have done without.

But here I am today, it’s 4.30am and I feel great. Ok, ok – I got up at 12 noon so shouldn’t feel too bad, but even so – credit where credit’s due! The anomaly is that I haven’t really done anything to help myself per se, but I feel 70% better than I did three days ago. 70% is good…for me.  I’m at 4 months, 3 weeks, 5 days sober – which is pretty close to 5 months!  Eek 🙂

So what’s different? I haven’t been on the support site that I find extremely helpful very much, so can’t attribute it to that…but I had plans! I was keeping my mind occupied. Not letting thoughts eat away at my entire being. I decided to come home (away from The Olds who were driving me mad with their very particular ways) and have some actual fun, sort out some necessary stuff, see my best friend, see my favourite rug rat and there’s still more to come! 😉

All of which brings me not very neatly to last night. I had been invited to the 40th birthday party of an old school friend that I haven’t seen for about 20 years. She and I both moved from Warwickshire to Manchester and having discovered that we don’t live that far from one another via Facebook, I thought it would be great to pop in and see her and wish her a happy birthday. When I got all the necessary greetings out of the way, I was sitting with a couple of her very good friends and their partners. And they were drunk. Drunky drunk.

I had to spend the first half an hour trying to understand why I was ‘brave’ to go on my own, as one girl would not stop telling me. Apparently she would never have gone to a party on her own. I don’t understand this because, if you choose not to be in a relationship with anyone, are you supposed to stay in? I don’t feckin’ think so. I’m single – not a recluse!!! I like going out. There’s nothing more boring than staying in when there’s a world of interesting people and places out there to discover. (This goes for if you’re single or in a relationship to be honest – it’s just that I’m single at the mo’!) Anyway, this person was not particularly interesting, but I decided to go for a cigarette with her (yeah yeah, bad for me, I know!). We somehow got onto the topic of the imminent world shortage of prosecco and I said, well they can’t blame me anymore because I stopped drinking. That was met with a look of utter disbelief and an invitation for a night with her to drink cheap prosecco from Lidl (I’m not sure why…but she could barely find her mouth with her cig so I wasn’t about to ask for an explanation). I explained again, a…little…more…slowly…, that I don’t drink, so whilst it would be lovely to go out with her one night (it’s fine, she wouldn’t remember in the morning…would she??), I’d be on soft drinks. ‘Oh, how about a champagne afternoon tea then?’ Oh Christ it’s hard work. I took it all in good spirit and realise that due to her inebriation she was less than able to compute, but it gets so tiring! And she then proceeded to inform me how much she drinks, why, with whom, when, what makes her puke, blah blah – needless to say, I managed to avoid her for one-to-one cigarettes after that.

Nightmare number two was her friend’s husband. Funnily enough, drunk. He was sitting right next to his wife – winking at me. He was 49 years old. He must have told me nine times and inbetween those, he was asking me to guess how old he was. So obviously I was guessing mid-50s…(I never said I was nice). When he wasn’t declaring, ‘Even though I flirt, the wife has got nothing to worry about, I always go home with her’ (poor cow) I would find him at the bar with fag lady, on the dance floor with fag lady, near the buffet with fag lady….you get the picture. It was awful. I felt so sorry for his wife – he told her more than once that she was a lucky lady to have him. I wanted to cry for her. I wanted to punch him. Which I would have if I had been drinking. Why are some people such arseholes? He asked me if I wanted a drink, so I asked for an orange juice. He looked perplexed. I never did get that drink.

Which brings me to fag lady’s date. He was very nice, had been drinking but wasn’t too bad and was quite funny. He asked me why I wasn’t drinking and it took every fibre of my being to stop myself saying that when I drank alcohol I would end up in the same state as his date. I told him that I can’t handle the drink and can never just have a few. He told me about losing his mum to cancer last year and having done Dry January this year, raising an amazing £900 for cancer research. Since then he has become a raging alcoholic (his words). He was asking me about not drinking and asked what was the final straw that made me stop. I could have said anything at all in a roundabout way to give him an inkling of why. But oh no, not me!! I blurted out ‘well, trying to kill myself about 8 times last year was an indication that I needed to do something about the drink’. Stunned silence from him followed by apologising. I felt so awful, but at the same time, relieved to be able to vocalise an issue that I had been struggling with just a few days before. He actually handled it well and I did apologise. He spent the rest of the night asking if I was ok. Grand…

There was a lot more fun and dancing to be had for the night and I believe the four people who now know my ‘issues’ will not have remembered a thing this morning. It was a great night, but I think I’m going to have to reign in my honesty. The thing is I find it hard to lie, to pretend that I’m on an even footing with someone who is really drunk when I’m stone cold sober. I tried it with fag lady who was telling all sorts of stories – they must have sounded great in her head, not so much in mine!! I can’t keep up a pretence of laughing at something that doesn’t make sense! So they cotton on to your sobriety and want to know more and more.

I guess the plus side is that, had I been drinking, I would have punched the narcissistic arsehole of a husband, given fag lady evil looks all night and tried to get off with her fella. So my conclusion is that I’m better off telling people a bit too much about me and letting them be the ones to make fools of themselves. Not very charitable of me, but given the way my mood fluctuates I could be at rock bottom again tomorrow and need to look out for me, however selfish that might seem.

Roll on more socialising and some business this week – I’ll take each situation as it comes and deal with it from there. What more can I do?

Enjoy your Bank Holiday Monday everyone 😉

Over and out and about xxx

my simple AF (alcohol free) pleasures

From a member of the swan network – thank you, Binki xxx

My simple AF pleasures.

– Singing really loudly in the car.
– Afternoon naps.
– Climbing into a freshly changed bed.
– Choosing pampering bath products.
– My sons quirky sense of humour.
– Chocolate and midget gems.
– Being chatted up by a customer at work (compete swamp-donkey but it still counts!).
– Watching the sparrows in my bird bath.
– My work colleague (77 year old cleaner), in all innocence, announcing that she’s sorted out her back passage and just has her front entrance to do!
– Being part of this amazing group.

If you don’t mind Facebook and would like the support of like minded people who choose to live life without alcohol, please friend Binki Laidler and she will add you to the secret group.