I had a drink… well… not really. Years ago my partner and I made a bottle of fruit-flavoured vodka (cherries steeped in vodka with sugar). Last night my partner was slowly sipping on a tiny shot glass (his first drink for weeks). One of his endearing quirks is that he gets a bit paranoid about food safety. He turned to me and said that it tasted funny and he didn’t know if it was bad or if it was his head cold.
It’s my job to taste food products, roll my eyes and make a disparaging comment. So after a small hesitation I took the tiniest of sips – the sort of 5ml sip you would take from milk which you suspect might be rancid. It was perfectly OK so I emphatically rolled my eyes and declared that “Pffft! It’s fine – your blocked nose is just making it taste funny!”.
The hesitation was tiny but I was quickly scanning and weighing up a few factors:
- would I be tempted to get myself a shot glass… no.
- did I feel like I was at risk of losing control… not at all!
- would he think my reaction was odd if I refused… maybe a tiny bit (like… it’s not like I had a secret drinking problem or something?)
According to the Day Counting App on my phone it’s been 169 days since I had a drink (5 months, 2 weeks and a few days). 5ml of flavoured vodka doesn’t count and I won’t be resetting my day counter any time soon – especially with the 6 month mark so close. It didn’t trigger any cravings or make me want to test my limits.
As I near the 6 month mark, my confidence in different social situations has grown and I feel more sure of myself around alcohol. I’m beginning to trust that I have some control over my drinking problem – I can’t moderate my drinking but I can keep the tap turned off.
The whole sober thing is slowly becoming normalised amongst my friends and it’s less of a topic of interest. I’m slowly morphing into one of those sober people who were always in my network – even back in my early 20s. At the age of (almost) 40 it’s probably much easier to be socially sober than it was for my friends when we were young. Now it’s more common to go to a social event and have people who don’t drink; who only have one light drink; or just can’t drink that night because they’re pregnant/looking after kids/have to drive home etc.
AAAND It’s good to have plenty of sober company at parties because I’ve also started to learn that drunk people can be pretty annoying to be around… Those few lonely sober friends from my early 20s must have been saints!