I went to a 50th birthday party last Saturday night. It was the first proper, grown up party I've been to since I got sober. I went there knowing I wouldn't drink. Thinking 'I've got this'. And I did. But it was a challenge.
We got there at 8pm and as soon as we walked in the door we were faced with cocktails! I just said no thanks and had a diet coke. There were a few people there already. Thankfully, there was a couple we knew who we hadn't see for a few years so we chatted to them for a while. I told them I don't drink anymore and they just accepted it, no questions asked, so that was a relief! I had my stash of diet coke caffeine free cans so I was all set.
Mr A was great. He kept my glass full and stayed with me. But he was drinking and as the night wore on, he started to mingle, which was fine. I didn't expect to stay glued to my side ALL night. I met a lovely lady who didn't know that many people either, so we chatted for a while. Then it was time for the speeches and we got separated, so I stood next to Mr A. I was feeling good and thinking this wasn't that hard after all! I can do this.
After the speeches, Mr A got into a discussion with a guy about football. By now he was getting quite tipsy! I was standing next to him awkwardly and felt a bit lost. I desperately looked around for someone to talk to but everyone was chatting to someone else. I didn't feel confident enough to walk up to them and join in the conversation, so I just stood there, feeling more uncomfortable by the minute.
Then a couple of girls I had been talking to earlier tried to drag me onto the dance floor. And I mean they actually grabbed my arm and physically tried to drag me onto the dance floor! But I resisted. I just couldn't do it. Something in me froze and I just couldn't dance.
I love dancing. I used to dance whenever I went out on the town. But that was a long time ago. And it was when I was drinking and had a lot of Dutch courage flowing through my veins. I felt sad the other night. I stood there in a panic, not knowing what to do with myself. I wanted to let my guard down and get out there on the dance floor and just have fun, but I couldn't do it. Maybe if I'd known the people better I could have done it. I don't know. I just know that by now I was feeling really anxious and I just had to get out of there. So I told Mr A that I wanted to leave and he understood. So I said a few goodbyes and he walked me out to the car. It was 11.35pm.
So I drove home, put on my pyjamas, and curled up on the couch with the computer and read my favourite blogs.
I felt disappointed that I didn't last longer at the party. But I'm glad I went and experienced it sober. I know I panicked but before that happened, I was having a good time. I think if I'd known more people it would have been better, maybe I might have even danced. Guess I'll never know!
Mr A got home at 3am and felt pretty miserable on Sunday. All I felt was relief that it wasn't me feeling like that!
So, the next time we go to a big fancy party, I am going to try and relax a bit more. Pretend no one is watching and have a dance. I have to remind myself that it's still early days. 8 months might feel like a long time, but in the big scheme of things, it's not long at all. So I'm not going to be too hard on myself.