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.

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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10 Reasons Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober

The horror, right. I don’t track days sober. I have been seeing all over instagram, people holding up signs and celebrating and getting hundreds of likes. I am also in a couple of Facebook Sobriety Groups and a few months ago one woman posted she was celebrating she will have 500 days sober. I thought do I have 500 Days Sober? I don’t know. I had made a conscious decision last time I got sober not to track how many days I had sober.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober

  1. I used to track how many days I had sober, like every minute of it. There are even apps to do so, right down to the seconds you have sober. It would leave me defeated I was always resetting the clock.
  2. I would yell at the app, are you kidding me it can’t be 11, 2 hours, 36 mins and 6 seconds, this fucking this is lying.
  3. I felt like a failure every time I reset the clock. Not looking at it like it was a life lesson, or what I had learned, or what I needed to look in my life. I would just have self hatred.
  4. I felt like I was whiteknuckling it. I didn’t feel like the numbers were ever big enough, nothing was enough and I had felt like I wasn’t enough long enough.
  5. I didn’t count my drinking days.
  6. I’d heard so many people in AA laugh about how many 24 hour chips they had .
  7. I don’t want to be seen as the person who had 46,000 days without a drink a drug or a cigarette when I die. I want to be remembered for a lot more than that.
  8. My days were being measured against a liquid instead of quality, productivity, kindness, compassion and what type of person I was. There is no measurement for that it’s about being a better person than you were yesterday.
  9. It felt like sobriety had an end date like “The Whole 21” or the “21 Day Fix “Diets, just like my fitness, my eating healthy, there is not expiration date.
  10. Sobriety is NOT a competition.
Time can be are enemy or our friend.

Ok now you know Why I Don’t Track How Many Days I Have Sober. My sobriety date is the first Saturday in August of 2017 I do know that much. If you are feeling any of the feelings up top, I’m telling you it’s time to start creating a life you love. Here’s what I did at first, instead of tracking every single day, hour, minute second. I bought a planner just a cheap weekly one, and I’d write my gratitude in it daily 3 things I was grateful for . Then I would mark off by the week, I started this planner at approximately 4 weeks sober, and I marked it off by the week and at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks I would reward myself. With experiences, I did a sensory deprivation float, went to baby goat yoga, and booked a yoga retreat. I looked back at my planner and around week 22 I had stopped writing in the weeks, faithfully but not intentionally did I quit writing and I see I wrote week 25, 29 and 30 and that was the end of counting. It just petered out.

Today I count today as sober, I write daily my gratitudes (3 at then end of every day and that includes: grateful I am sober today. We all have just 24 hours including Beyonce, no more no less. So enjoy today with gratitude, be happy to be sober, just for today, and know that life is more than just about being sober, it’s about creating a life of happiness, gratitude, goals, family, love, kindness, memories, activities and health and my sobriety roles into all of that. Instead of counting the days behind or counting the hours ahead, try and be present for now.

Have a fit and sober day

xoxox Christina