Alcohol in the house when you are sober

On Friday night I hosted a dinner party for business associates of my husband that I did not know, but knew they weren’t big drinkers (one of them is going through chemo). So I wasn’t super worried about it. I have alcohol in my house my husband still drinks. The other factor is I have not isolated myself, ie stopped going places that serves alcohol. I know people that won’t even go into the Starbucks that serves beer. Please also remember at the beginning of my sobriety, I was very careful where I would go (IE I would not sit on a patio on a hot summers day with everyone around me drinking a chardonnay) but at this stage of my journey I know could could care less about booze.

The two things I have not had in my house and won’t have in my house since I got sober is wine and this drink called Hey Y’all. Both were my drink of choice.

So as many of you know when hosting a dinner party, it’s not just the dinner prep, its the tidying of the house, putting away the crap on the front hallway table that’s accumulated (running gear mainly) dusting the built in shelves in the living room that the couch doesn’t face and honestly I’m not sure when I last dusted them, cleaning the main bathroom, cleaning up the plant that Billy (my cat) knocked over in the process while I was cleaning, all the little things that go with prepping a dinner party. By the time dinner was well underway, I was tired and quite hungry.

I had not been there to greet our guests, I headed back into the kitchen though to serve dinner, and low and behold one of our guests had brought me a bottle of wine and it was just sitting on the counter just sitting on the counter like so many times before. Unopened, just sitting staring at me. A cold shiver ran down the back of my neck. I served dinner.

Now I’ve been around wine, people drinking it doesn’t bother me, just NOT in my house.

My husband and I rarely talk about my not drinking or my reasons what led up to me not wanting to drink, when I told him I need to quit drinking his first reaction was you need to quit smoking you don’t have a drinking problem.

When we went to clean up after the guests left (omg dinner party are the best when people are not getting shit faced, cleaning up at 930pm) I looked at my husband and looked at the bottle and I said this gives me shivers. He’s like why not take it to our tenants downstairs, then I said something else, and he said it’s still early take it down NOW. I put my flip flops on and zipped downstairs and handed a nice bottle of wine to the couple, who were thrilled.

Moral of this story, you can be strong in your sobriety, you can keep alcohol in your house, you can go out with friends who drink. DO NOT keep your drink or drug of choice (nicotine is my drug of choice) in your house. Why tempt fate.

How To Know If You Have a Drinking Problem

How To Know If You Have a Drinking Problem

How to know if you have a drinking problem. This subject came up the other day, in our book club, we all said that we had gone online and taken a test or googled the symptoms, everyone of us had done this, to see if we had a drinking problem. Some of the women identify as an alcoholic, some like myself identify with alcohol abuse disorder, each and everyone of us identify that alcohol intrerefered with our lives

One woman even said she lied on the test, so it came out NO. I justified on the test (it asked if you drank alone) I was a single mom, who did you want me to drink with my 5 year old? So how do you know?

  • You are googling it, is one of the first clues, though it might be years before that clue comes to light
  • My other clue & everyone else agreed it was the hangovers/wasted days of being incapacitated after.
  • The whole in my life
  • The anxiety from drinking
  • The guilt from drinking
  • The feeling in the morning of wishing I hadn’t drank the day before
  • And the fact it interfered with our jobs (missed days or just not being present) and or parenting (short tempered, missing parenting meetings, or not attending events).

Interesting fact was none of us said it was because we drank alone or because someone was concerned, or if it had negatively affected friendships or if we embarrassed ourselves ever or the fact that we had spent too much money drinking as we could rationalize these things. Or some of the questions didn’t even apply like do you get the shakes if you don’t drink, or do you crave alcohol daily (nope) it went deeper than just the surface questions.

You see having a drinking problem doesn’t look the same for everyone. You might see a person rummaging through a garbage can swigging booze out of a bottle (think Frank from Shameless) and think yeah he has a problem, but when you look at that well dressed woman with her son, who’s a single mom in her 30’s, goes out on weekends, rides her bike, is at the soccer field every saturday morning, has a nanny part time, has a corporate job, lives by the beach you may not look and guess she has a problem. There are so many definitions of does someone have a problem with alcohol and not one is right or wrong if they have a problem. Its if you are happy with our life.

Really only you can decide when you have had enough, that point has been made over and over by court ordered rehabs, detoxes, psychiatry holds, or when that mom cries on her couch every Sunday wishing she’d never drank again this weekend.

There is no defining point it’s just you and your life. The great thing is you can always try out not drinking and go back to it if it’s not for you or you can decide like I did that life is so much easier without alcohol/ hangovers you may never go back.

xoxox Christina

Where to Find Friends in Sobriety?

10 years ago when I was dating a drummer in a band (insert eye roll) and was hanging out with a faster than a soccer mom crowd. I met a woman who was in this circle, she dated one of the guys and I thought we could be friends. I make friends naturally and she was smart, fun, crazy, and extremely successful in her business.

I called her one time outside of the circle and outside of drinking to see if she wanted to go for sushi, and again one other time to go for a walk on the beach. Both times she said she couldn’t she’d been partying to hard and had to catch up on work as shit was hitting the fan and she didn’t want to drink. I hadn’t asked her to go drinking I’d asked her to hit up sushi and go for a walk. I was trying to make a friend but how she took our friendship, it had revolved around partying.

A few weeks later we were out and she was flying high as a kite and made a pass at me and when I refused, things got awkward, and out of control. I left the party, very uncomfortably.

Much later that night she called me up screaming so violently into the phone that she really didn’t need to call she could have just yelled outside from across the bridge. She had no use for our friendship never wanted to go get sushi with me and hated the fact I had a kid why in the fuck would she ever want to hang out with someone like me.

Wow I was stunned, a little hurt but I also realized that was the addiction talking. I put a hard and fast boundary around her. When she called again, which was some weeks later, my son answered the phone (welcome to landlines) and I refused to take her call and just hung up the phone. I have no idea what she wanted.

Why she popped into my head today, I was thinking of Friendships. This was the last friendship with a woman that I tried to make before I got sober. After that I tended to shy away from women friends.

When I got sober I didn’t have a lot of friends, just drinking acquaintances and I was lonely. About 4 months in I voiced out loud to my outpatient group I was lonely and everyone looked at me like yeah and? I was right where I was supposed to be. No one could tell me where to find sober friends.

This is what I teach in Fit and Sober, it’s not about finding sober friends its about creating a life you love and attracting friendships.

So off I went on the quest to find friends, follow up to my Outpatient Program, AA & Refuge Recovery but other than talking about not drinking, I never really clicked with anyone. The other issue for me was all these meetings I attended were fuelled by gossip & drama, which is so not my jam. In addition (this is second hand and just my opinion ) but anyone I know who has gone, made friends and relapsed the friends go away. It’s understandable, everyone needs to preserve their recovery and set boundaries but it just seemed fickle to me. I believe all meetings work, you may meet some great people but it’s about quitting drinking and staying sober, I was looking for friends though.

I have gone to sober retreats and the women were great and some had amazing bonds through this but that’s not what happened to me. I know I’m different, I always have been it’s one of the reasons why I drank, to fit in.

Also remember when setting out to meet people, you can have different groups for different reasons. One or two people don’t need to be everything to you for every reason.

Your inner circle needs to be and more than just the connection of not drinking

So what to do now: my sober list was exhausted almost 6 months into sobriety and I’ve met sober acquaintances but no friends. So I started working on a list of things I love to do and consistently show up.

  • The gym has been my therapy ( and my job) for years so I chose too take a class ( my choice was spin) and I show up 3 days a week. Guess what I met 2 friends here one is a fitness competitor and one is in recovery (yep)
  • I craft so I started going to scrapbook meetups
  • I am currently taking a photography course
  • I love to bike so I joined a women mountain bike group last summer
  • I love cats so I volunteered at a cat shelter.
  • I invested in a business mastermind last year
  • I joined a business network group
  • I took a cooking class
  • I joined a yoga studio
  • Joined online sober groups

You get the picture, now start your list what do you want to explore, what do you like to do that interests you?

Ok so out of all of this I have formed 5 close new friends, that aren’t in recovery, I have 2 amazing friends that I’ve known for more than 15 years, and really worked on rebuilding my friendships with but I also now have 4 close sober friends, plus a therapist that I can call on when I need to around sober people or recovery support.

Remember real friends don’t care if you don’t drink.

Comment below how you’ve made friends while being in recovery.

xoxo Christina

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