I posted a video to my Facebook and Instagram asking y’all for your questions. If you didn’t get a chance to ask me something, fear not! I would love to make these Q&A posts a regular series on my blog.
Q: Do you attend AA meetings?
A: I have never been to an AA meeting, but I have not ruled them out. I know that AA helps a TON of people! I believe finding a community of like-minded people for support is essential, I just haven’t felt the desire to go to a meeting at this point in my life.
Q: How have you changed since you quit drinking?
A: WOW! Where do I start? Without a doubt, I am a new person in every sense of the word. I am not only happier, I’m much healthier too. I’m 10000% more confident and as a result, I have become more outgoing. Without my crutch, I am more authentic and a better listener. A month into my sobriety, I started noticing how amazing I felt in the mornings (even before coffee) and I wouldn’t trade that for anything! I tell people all the time, “I used to wake up and regret my choice to drink, but I never wake up and regret my decision to be sober.”
Q: Is it hard to go to bars/clubs/parties? Do you get upset when people drink around you?
A: I will not lie about this question. Yes, it is hard, especially at first. It took me quite a while to learn how to socialize without some liquid courage in my system. I had immersed myself so deep in this drinking culture that I was conditioned. Honestly, I still feel weird if I don’t have a drink in my hand at a social event (what do I do with my hands?!)
With time, you will learn that birthdays, weddings, even holidays aren’t any less fun without alcohol. And when I DO find myself feeling uneasy, I remove myself from the situation.
I never want my friends to act different around me, and if that involves them drinking, I want everyone to be comfortable doing whatever they choose. Every now and then I do get a little bummed that I cannot partake, but I remind myself how awesome it will be to replay the memories with a clear mind. I also tell myself that I have had my time as the party animal and this is my “new normal”, and that’s perfectly fine with me!
Q: What do you say when people ask you why you aren’t drinking?
A: I used to absolutely dread this question…mostly because I didn’t have a straightforward answer. It’s such a complex subject and to spare people an hour-long conversation about how I get crazy and will try to make out with their boyfriend (or girlfriend), I usually say something like “drinking and I don’t mix” or my new fave, “I was better at drinking than being drunk.” You’d be surprised at how many people will respect you even more for your choice.
My advice is to tell people whatever makes you feel comfortable. Remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your life. If someone makes you feel like less of a person for your choices, I say reconsider their friendship.
Q: Do you have a go-to N/A beverage?
A: I drink non-alcoholic beer, mostly at home. I don’t like paying $6 for a bottle of beer flavored water though (let’s be real). I have it in my fridge for those All-American moments (i.e. crawfish season, football season, 4th of July, etc.).
My favorite drink to order when I’m at a bar is tonic and lime. Side note: Most people HATE tonic and it’s really funny to watch the faces of your drunk friends take a sip when they think it’s water.
Q: Was there a rock bottom moment that you knew you had to change?
A: I giggled when I read this because, like many other people I know in recovery, there were MULTIPLE rock bottom moments I chose to ignore (more on that later).
However, the last time I drank I was with some of my life-long friends. I drank bottles of wine, I took Adderall, I laughed, I danced, I cried, I pissed people off.
It wasn’t my WORST night, by any means, but it wasn’t the BEST night either. Afterwards, I was really down for about a week and my apology tour with regret-filled messages to all of my friends was enough to set the train in motion. I was FINALLY ready to move forward with my life, sans alcohol.