August

“Down on the West coast…

They got a saying, if you’re not drinking then you’re not playing.”

Ah Lana Del Rey and her melancholy lyrics… This particular line struck me from the minute I first heard the song. I was alone driving down a stretch of motorway surrounded by fields and rain clouds in the middle of a 200 mile drive. It summed up exactly how I have felt about my social life since I stopped drinking.

In the west of Scotland drinking is the norm, and for the most part it is heavy binge drinking that is viewed as being “social”. That is just what everyone my age does around here and being sober has a tendency to make people uncomfortable around you. It’s ‘weird’, it’s ‘different’, it’s ‘wrong’, “Why on earth would you choose not to drink?”  Before I stopped drinking I was the girl that was always the centre of the party, the one who was up for anything and didn’t give a shit what anyone else thought (that was the way everyone else perceived it at least…) But I was also the girl who was deeply ashamed of the poor choices she consistently made, disgusted at plenty of the things she had done and on the inside was hiding this feeling of complete and utter loneliness, desperately doing anything to be accepted.

I have heard many times and from many different people, some of whom I had considered good friends, that I am not as much fun now that I am sober. Let me tell you something, no matter how many times you hear that sentence it hurts just as much as the first, like a knife twisting deep in my gut. Does noone like the ‘real me?’ am I only deemed worthy of socialising with when I am high on booze and low on morals..?

 

I haven’t had a drink for 2 years, and one day at a time I hope to continue that for as long as I can.

Alcohol isn’t my problem right now, reality is.

 

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5 thoughts on ““Down on the West coast…

  1. Reading this is like reading my own story. In my social circle, people don’t notice the drinking– the notice the lack of as well. I had the front of being that party girl that brushed off the mild indiscretions after a night of drinking but in reality, it was tough to go through the walk of shame when I woke up the next morning. What did I say, who did I offend, did I do that? For a good hour after a night of drinking I would contemplate and lay there self-shaming myself (not to mention calling people to see how much of a fool I made of myself). While I’m glad those days are behind me, I also struggle when people make the comments that I’m different sober. But you and I have to remember that we are not doing this for them. We are doing this for our personal well being and if they can’t cope with the real us then fuck ’em. Kudos on your sobriety– two years is not a small accomplishment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, and also for taking the time to comment. I have realised that yeah, they’re damn right I’m different now that I don’t drink. I’m no longer their source of entertainment because I found my self respect on the road through recovery…
      Life isn’t easy sober, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was drunk.

      All the best, Nicola.

      Like

  2. Art Mowle says:

    tknotice said it all. I’m sober over 7 years and I so hear what you’re saying. This world, not just Scotland, is fascinated with alcohol. It’s advertised and promoted daily. As tk said, fuck em if they can’t handle the real us. We know what it’s like to be homeless, unemployable and physically and mentally drained. Stay where you are, 2 years is no small accomplishment. I hate what alcohol has done to people. I can’t control that. I have to think of me. Don’t like me, bye.

    Blessings
    Art

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice posts Nicola. I am ten years sober and alcohol still isn’t my problem … reality is. (I really love that line.) My sober function is to get into reality. And for me that took (takes) effort, conscious effort. Congrats on your sober years. So impressive to see such a young girl sober and changing the world. My love to you, Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

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