Yesterday evening we went to a little neighborly Happy Hour. Just about 6 or so of us-it’s kind of a sporadically regular thing. Everyone brings what they want to drink. It’s always pretty low key. I like to limit my time to an hour or so. When I was drinking, I did this because I didn’t want anyone to know how much I was drinking-so I’d limit myself to a glass or two of wine and then go home and either open another bottle or polish off the bottle I brought back home with me. Now I limit it because we try to eat between 6 and 6:30 and it’s enough time.
Last night I took some sparkling mineral water and my SO took a bottle of non alcoholic Ginger Beer. To be honest out of the 7 people that were there only 2 were drinking an alcoholic beverage. Anyway, one woman who was drinking a sparkling water mentioned that she’s not drinking or eating carbs right now. Another friend laughed and said that that wasn’t true the other night. Her response was that he’d taken her to a brewery and there probably wasn’t anything non alcoholic to drink. Yea, right..And, to be honest this is someone that 9 times out of 10 has a picture of a cocktail or glass of wine in her many FaceBook posts. For some reason I just piped up and said that I hadn’t had any alcohol for almost a year and a half. ( WOW!) She asked if it was for health reasons. I said no-it was just time. I remarked in a light hearted way that I’d saved a ton of money, I could remember the previous episodes of TV shows or news items-(although right now I wish I could forget about the f***ing news) that I slept throught the night. That I had started “my career” at a young age. The talk continued on and there was something about being out and not drinking. I said how I just ask for something non alcoholic, fruity, shaken and served in a Martini glass. For all anyone knows, I’m drinking a Cosmo-or whatever. Her response was that she too tries to “trick” herself like that at times.
So today, as I was walking, I remembered the conversation. What I realized is that I am not tricking myself. I am treating myself. I am making a conscious decision about what I want to drink, how I want it prepared and how I want it presented to me. For one thing, I love great glasses. At home, if I make a mocktail, I use a crystal wine glass. At night when I have ice cream, I put it in really nice sherbet cup and eat it with a silver demitasse spoon. I prefer a “craft mocktail” for the same reason I don’t like to eat at restaurants offering buffets. I want to know that my food or my drink was prepared just for me. Yes, occasionally at lunch I’ll get lemonade that comes out of a dispenser. But if I’m in a nicer place, I always ask if they make their own lemonade. The best I’ve ever had was at a little Italian place in Santa Rosa. The lemons were amazing and they actually made it in a cocktail shaker. I LOVE THAT!
If I come from the mindset that I’m tricking myself, well, that doesn’t work for me. That feels like I’m cheating myself or that I’ve somehow given my power away. That I’m “missing something“. Poor me! Now I will say, there have been times when I wasn’t drinking and I was really feeling deprived. Punished. See my post This Time Last Year. Also, I was never one of those people that could say, smoke a joint and go on my way-forgetting that I was stoned. Or do a line of coke and go out for the night and be satisfied with that. Oh no! I had to do it all-know that it was all gone before I could let go of it. The same with a bottle of wine. As long as there was any left-it was on my mind. Tricking myself that I was in control when in fact, the substance had all the control.
But now! What a treat! How empowering it feels to sashay into a fancy smanchy restaurant and tell the white coated waiter that I want a great mocktail in a great glass. Not only empowering but freeing. Freeing because after like 2 of these, I’m done. I don’t need to go any farther. I’ve been sated on several levels. I have chosen to treat myself in this way. I have chosen not to come from a place of deprivation. And of course, there’s all the other stuff-saving money, walking out upright, not slurring my words while thinking I’m being witty with the waitstaff. Oh God!
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s really all about how we perceive things. How we come from or at something. Whether or not we choose to be empowered by a situation or lessened by it. For me-definitely TREAT!
What I haven’t mentioned is that I had a companion on my walk today. Bentley aka Polka Dot Spot. Yes! We got another dog! We were going to wait until the middle of May when we get back from the UK but…well he came along and we couldn’t resist! He’s a rescue that came from a hoarder that had 28 dogs! We got him in the middle of January and he just turned a year old last week. My SO and I are totally in love! While he will never replace Dudley, I truely believe that Dudley sent him. I know that we are going to have a long and happy life together. And lots of “walkies”.