The day started well, I spent a lot of time with my children, we had a lot of fun and there was plenty laughter. As the party got busier the kids did their own thing with other kids and the adults migrated together towards tables full of alcohol. I sat among friends and family, some of whom I haven’t seen for months.
My partner was very quick to tell people I was no longer drinking, I thought at first this was to make it easier for me to justify my glass of water but as she drank more I realised it was to put me on the spot, to put me in a position where I continually felt I had to justify my sobriety. She asked me to hold her glass of wine. “Go on, smell it, are you missing it? Just have some.” Then she approached me with a glass of cider. “I’m drinking for you now, are you sure you don’t want to share?”
I spent the next few hours as far away from her as possible. Unfortunately this meant I was on the periphery of this now large group of people, all of them drinking, all of them being slowly affected by the alcohol. This isn’t social drinking, this is drinking to get drunk. I realised [again] that I had nothing in common with anyone at the party. Again I thought about the reasons I used to drink so much; escape from the situation, escape from the reality of my life. I listened to the conversations around me, so fucking boring!
I’ve brought my children up to question everything, never take anything for granted, always look at everything from someone else’s viewpoint…. This leads to fascinating conversations with my kids, in particular with my 11 year old son, who loves history, geography and current affairs! I missed him so much at this point, he was far more interesting than any of the adults within earshot.
I became more detached as the day turned to evening, most of the kids had gone, leaving close family, most of them were now drunk, talking absolute nonsense. The conversation was now aimed at me, questioning my reasons for not drinking. My partners father told me twice in the space of a couple of minutes that I am now a boring bastard. At least I think that’s what he said, fucking drunken mess! My partner was arguing with her family that it was my choice to stop drinking even although most of them already knew this. This was the point that she had forgotten about her compete lack of support throughout the day and proclaimed how proud she was and how well I’ve done, how hard it must be for me and that she’s so pleased that I’m so strong.
Her father congratulated me for being so boring, told me I’d proved my point (?) and asked if I wanted a vodka. I ignored him.
I drove us home. I was so glad to get home! I don’t know when the next family gathering will be but I’m already thinking of reasons and excuses for my potential absence.
There were a few times in the day that it would have been easy to have a drink but I never touched anything alcohol. No way was I letting my kids down, letting myself down.
I was worried about this party, about how much of a test it would be. I struggled to socialise, I never enjoyed the company, I missed my best friend every second I was there, I missed having someone next me that understood me, that supported me. But it’s Day 86 and I’m still 100% sober so I must be doing something right.