Day 51

Man the day count has seemed to go slow since day 30!

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Sober vacation #1 (this time around) is a wrap! I successfully navigated 4 days in Seattle with my boyfriend, brother, and brother’s girlfriend, all of whom still drink. My brother and his girlfriend offered not to drink if I preferred, but I said it was ok. Social drinking is not generally my trigger anyway. (There may be some boundary issues there also, as it would be  uncomfortable for me to ask others not to drink, but…topic for another day I guess.)

There were plenty of moments of temptation, including on the plane on the way there, but I was able to step back and remember that we don’t always get what we want right when we want it, and that is as it should be. I could also play out the scenario of drinking and how it would go and how it would detract from, not add to, my vacation.

I felt some cravings on the plane on the way there as others ordered bloody mary’s and vodka crans. I closed my eyes and set my intentions for the universe: to be peaceful, present, and sober during these vacations. No fighting with my brother. Staying in the moment and enjoying (or at least, just observing) whatever was happening right then. And no drinking, of course.

One night everyone else did get pretty drunk. It was more annoying than tempting, but after we went back to my brother’s apartment and there seemed to be no end in sight to the consumption, a glass of fancy scotch on the coffee table suddenly looked really appealing. That was my cue and I told everyone I needed to go. I was fine if my boyfriend wanted to stay to hang out but I was happier when he decided to leave with me (especially since we were staying at an airbnb just a few blocks away, so an Uber wasn’t necessary, but I didn’t really want to walk home alone either).

I felt proud that I recognized that I needed to remove myself from the situation and that I said so without worrying how it would affect others, although in retrospect I maybe should have done so earlier . They all seemed to understand and were definitely not bothered. My brother apologized the next day for drinking so much.

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The last moment of temptation was at the airport. The airport on the way home is always my most vulnerable moment. I’m tired and a drink always seems like the perfect solution to that. It perks me up and then knocks me out on the plane. Once on the plane, I also pondered how nice some wine would be to put me in a nice mind space. But I was able to think through that fallacy, especially since our flight landed at 9pm and I had to work the next morning. Instead of drinking, I started and finished one entire book on the two flights (The Girl on the Train – loved it), and finished another (Undrunk: A Skeptics Guide to AA – pretty meh but it’s one of the books my therapist and I decided I would read).

Even though I got to bed late (after picking up the dogs from friends and grabbing dinner), it felt great to know I wouldn’t be hungover at work the next day. In fact I wasn’t even that tired on Tuesday!

The vacation felt full and enjoyable and clean. I felt noticeably less anxiety about flying – I don’t get anxious about the actual flight, but I stress about getting to the airport on time, having everything we need, parking, etc. Plus, I remember everything from the trip and I even took plentiful pictures to prove it!

I was happy to get back to IOP last night, too, after missing both Thursday and Monday. The topic was Codependence, which I’ve been wondering about, and they gave us a worksheet I think will be very useful which I will share here another day. And tonight is therapy, both individual and group – my favorites!

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