Swapped the snow tires out on our vehicle, or rather had them swapped.
After that, I spent a good couple of minutes communing with a white-blossomed tree in the parking lot. All I heard it say was “you are here, now,” which, after all, was true.
Then went to the big grocery shop near the garage and decided to browse the alcohol-free drinks section. There is a TON of “sirops” (high-frutose, flavoured syrups that you dilute with a lot of water or sparkling water — it’s a major thing in this country), a section that nearly rivals the wine section. Funny how I never paid much attention to those before. I was a “wine or water” kind of girl. (Besides coffee and herb tea of course.)
I brought home some bitter almond (Orgeat) syrup as well as some black-current syrup, both in beautiful bottles, to try with sparkling water. Always intake-conscious, normally I would never have wanted to “waste” the calories on anything non-alcoholic. Funny. Now I do think it’s nice to have a special drink every now and then, especially if it’s non-alcoholic.
I also guzzled a 750 ml bottle of water on the way home. I found the perfect water bottle. Normally I don’t buy water (I just refill existing bottles) but I had forgotten to bring one so I bought a Vittel. I am not a water snob but I do LOVE Vittel water. There’s something so soft about the taste. This water bottle ended up having the perfect top, a flip cap with built-in drinking nozzle. I think part of the reason I used to drink more alcohol than I should was because I’m a very thirsty person. Maybe it’s the pisces in me. So having a good water bottle on hand is important.
I still don’t miss wine. Although I did have a little twinge when I saw the new sparkling wine displays in the middle of the store. I associate a lot of good memories with sparkling wine. One of my closest friends was a champagne-lover and her enthusiasm got me hooked. Champagne and other sparkling wines “go to the head” more quickly because of their fizz factor. Even blood alcohol level is higher after drinking fizzy wine as compared to flat wine. Of course I did not know this, at the time, but perhaps that in part explains why I came to like bubbly as much as my friend did. It provided an instant high, letting me feel like I was suddenly as bright, sparkly and beautiful as the liquid in my glass, while in reality I became duller and less eloquent and it was slowly, stealthily aging me as well.
I remember the last few times I drank bubbly, I found the first sip very bitter. So why did I keep drinking it? Habit. And obsession and addiction (I suppose, as much as any other wine-indulger) and escapism and wanting to fit in.
So now I try to replace my old thinking. I re-condition myself instantly when I catch myself glamourizing drinking days in my head. I override the seeming good memories — the sound of the bottle opening, the feeling of being near good friends, the feeling of losing my overriding sense of restricting responsibility — and I replace them with all the feelings of self-disgust I would have the next day, even over the tiniest stupid things I did or said while drinking wine.
And I constantly remind myself that a bond formed by alcohol does not make true friends. It makes drinking buddies.
True friendship outlasts the bottle. True friendship is the kind where you can be sober together and still enjoy each other’s company.
I still have bouts of creative and social anxiety. and I’m still forgetful about things and a klutz sometimes. And my desk is still a huge mess. But at least all of those things are certainly no longer due to wine.
This makes me feel good inside. In my own mind, I am scoring meaningful points in the meritocracy of life, just by the fact of cutting out a habit that was no longer serving me, no matter how strange it may seem to others in my area. I know it doesn’t make everything instantly perfect, but I feel more okay with myself.
The best thing this time around is the fact of starting this blog and feeling more connected with fellow sobriety-seekers and sobriety-lovers. I did not find myself a sober community last time (I didn’t know this one on WP existed) and I think that’s part of why I failed.
It felt right to create a new blog specific to this purpose of embracing sobriety. I did it on a whim and really didn’t stress over the name or anything that much (SO different from the first blog I ever published, or rather the first blogs (plural) I *didn’t* publish, talk about analysis-paralysis), and so far it’s felt like quite a free place for me to just document my own little journey while once again connecting with others.
Thanks a lot for being here. ❤︎ Means a lot. I’m falling asleep over the keyboard now, so it’s lights out for me. I was going to read This Naked Mind a bit more, but can’t seem to find my Kindle anywhere. So frustrating. I have a feeling it’s living somewhere in the mountain of papers on my desk. But I’m scared to disturb that paper volcano. Tomorrow’s another day.