Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Dull Drunks

Day 115.

I went to a drinks party last night. I'm getting pretty good at these. I still dread them, but once I'm there I have a surprisingly good time.

I meant to leave early, but by the time I checked my watch it was nearly 11pm and the place was emptying out.

I have come to hugely appreciate places that sell non-alcoholic cocktails. I hate having to drink diet coke, water or - God forbid - orange juice, at a drinks party. It makes me feel like a child, and I imagine that everyone is staring at my drink thinking pregnant? No, too old. Ex-lush.

But I do need something to drink. Without a glass in my hand I feel naked. Exposed. Lost.

So the virgin mojito is my new best buddy. It gives me something to wave around and sip (sip! Moi? Who knew?) and makes me feel - if not sophisticated - at least a bit adult.

Last night I was standing there clutching my mojito when I saw a friend approaching. She reminded me so much of my old self. For a start, she was already tipsy.

In my days BS (before sober) I would never have arrived at a party without having drunk half a bottle of wine first (as a 'sharpener' while getting ready).

She wasn't slurring or unsteady (and I was always very careful not to get to that stage, but I had an inordinately high tolerance level by the end), but she did manage to barge past someone causing them to drop the glass of champagne they were holding which smashed all over the floor. She either didn't  notice, or just ignored the chaos.

On finding me she launched into 3 topics of conversation in quick succession. Exactly the same ones we'd discussed a few days previously.

Yikes! That was old me!

Years ago I was a fun, amusing drunk, but as time went on and I drank more and more, I'd pass through the 'fun' stage super fast (often before I even got to a party) and end up feeling slightly numb and confused. A bit lost for words.

More often than not, I'd fall back on 'default conversations' which were usually ones I'd already had!

And while I was going through the motions last night of the previously held conversations, my friend was looking over my shoulder to see who else was around.

She'd keep wandering off, then coming back. Again, that was me BS. Unable to concentrate on the moment or stay in one conversation, but always casting around for the next thing.

Plus, she didn't ask me one thing about myself or my life. I didn't blame her one bit. I'd been set to 'transmit' rather than 'receive' for the last decade!

Towards the end of my drinking career I'd, in an unusual display of self awareness, begun to realise that, despite managing to hold it together at parties, my social skills weren't up to much.

In fact, I'd got so paranoid about it that I would make a mental note before I went out of anecdotes I might tell if stuck. 

Now I'm horrified at the thought that the girl who was once the renowned 'life and soul' of a party was reduced to writing down things to say!

It struck me that part of the reason why all our best friends seem to be big drinkers too isn't just that we feel more comfortable with 'kindred souls', it's also because they're the only ones too drunk to realise how boring (slash insensitive, slash embarrassing) we've become!

I still don't feel entirely comfortable at parties, but I'm pretty sure that parties are a lot more comfortable with me.

I dread to think how many hearts must have sunk over the last few years as I wove my way round a room, endlessly popping in and out of groups of people, interrupting their conversations and wheeling out tired old anecdotes.

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. Our perspective change when we stop drinking. We see ourselves (former and present) in a different light. We also see our social circle differently. Sobriety opens our eyes. I have a friend with whom I am always in a transmit mode. It gets quite tiring and dissapointing. I start to question a lot of people in my social circle and wonder if they bring anything good and important into my life.

  2. I agree. I find people then become aggressive or weepy after that. And loud and rude.
    I usually leave after the second round. If I even go to parties with drinking as the main event. I don't have the patience for the drinkers. I'm sure I was exactly like that. self involved, distracted, forgetful.

  3. Ditto to the above. its early days for me, but I am spending time with the people in my social circle who drink, but not much. Those people who I must have bored the pants off previously. They are lovely company, and I never noticed (or cared). I am making new friends.

  4. It makes you cringe doesn't it? its only now, I realise how much I used to ramble on drunk mostly about myself. God I must have been so boring. Now I make it my point when I speak to people, to ask how They are and how They are feeling. I find myself more of a listener now than a speaker. I have our usual big summer BBQ that I host for a lot of our friends coming up soon. Most of my friends know that I have quit the drink and most are ok with that. I am looking forward to it, albeit with a fair bit of trepidation. I wonder if my burgers will taste better cooked sober? x

  5. I'm pretty sure I was the life and soul of every party I went to. I mean I was hilarious. I know I was. I think I was. I mean who doesn't love one of my brilliant stories...Gulp

  6. I made it through my first 'big night out' on sat and it was amazing to be sober. I had taken the car just to make sure I didn't drink but wasn't remotely tempted. When I arrived a few people had been out drinking all afternoon and it was quite a cringe seeing them so drunk. In the past I would have arrived half cut then spent the next couple of hours trying to catch up. Chances are I wouldn't have remembered getting home and would have spent the next day trying to piece things together and beating myself up. It was a gorgeous night and strolling round the beautiful city centre at midnight sober was a new and exciting experience. My speciality was gossiping very loudly about the person at the next table and divulging any secrets I knew of. Cringe!

  7. It's funny how you don't notice how people slur their words after a few drinks when you are drinking yourself. I must have done it too but never knew! I'm going out to dinner and a movie tomorrow night with some girlfriends. I will be watching them closely! Congrats on day 115! A x