It's been over 2 and a half years, and most of the time it doesn't get to me. You know, you are in your comfort zone, you go to the places where you feel at home, the triggers that pushed you to have a drink are long gone, and you feel that you are past all those issues that you had to run away from before. Your friends drink around you and it doesn't bother you. I mean there is always a cab two steps from the bar to take you home once everyone starts to annoy you, right? I even work in a bar now, and never think about doing a shot, or having a drink after work. It doesn't even cross my mind. I serve people drinks, talk to them, have fun, listen to good music and go home after work.
I've honestly found that this last year has been easy to deal with without alcohol and cigarettes, even during the worst moments at my old job.
And then you get caught unawares. All of a sudden you are outside of that comfort zone that you created, away from the cabs that can take you home, and the bar stool you always sit on and literally hide behind. That happened to me last night. I spent the whole weekend having an amazing time, with my close friends, seeing some absolutely wonderful live acts, feeling inspired and just really happy. It was during the final party, the last DJ set at Asbury Lanes, and everyone was happy and getting drunk and I felt so strange. All of a sudden I had a crazy urge to down a huge glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette. I'm not talking about a slight wish that I could have a drink, I mean a full-on I want to be as drunk as everyone else now because otherwise I am never going to feel like I am OK standing here. Everything felt totally surreal, like I had been pulled from one dimension to another without warning, and had this intense feeling of not belonging, even though I was surrounded by people I love. I just wanted to disappear into the crowd of dancing people and dance like crazy. I wish I had, I would have been happier. But I couldn't, I just stood there feeling awkward, and then took it out on one of my closest friends because he felt like having a drink.
I suppose I just need to remember that it's OK to be awkward, and it's OK to say that you feel awkward, but also that it's OK to not care about feeling awkward too. The only reason I felt awkward was because I felt like I was different, the odd one out. No one else noticed, everyone was too busy having fun. And I feel bad because I never wanted any of my friends to feel bad about drinking in front of me, because it's my own choice to not drink anymore, not anyone else's choice. And there is no need for me to make anyone else feel bad, just because I feel bad myself. But, I honestly also believe I am way too hard on myself at times... It's tough.
Now I am back home again, and everything is back to normal again. I feel lucky that I have such wonderful and supportive friends, and such a great life.
Now time for some serious ATP and other writing, just needed to get that off my chest first.