I’m keeping this challenge of mine hush among friends. At least for now. I don’t want the influence of others’ opinions, positive or not, to infiltrate my resolve. I want to unveil information at my own pace to whomever I choose when necessary.

This past weekend we had Friendsgiving down in Ridgewood. I knew it would be a challenge. I love all the humans that attended but it was my first real booze-free party so I was pretty anxious. I didn’t want to flaunt my soberness. I didn’t even want to mention that I wasn’t drinking. My aim was to blend in as much as possible in order to maintain status quo without sacrificing my goal. In that regard my mission was a total success thanks to a larger crowd than anticipated and the almighty ginger beer.

I found a six pack with an uncanny resemblance to its alcoholic cousin. Sipping on those babies all night kept my hands busy, allowed my soberness to go undetected, and allowed me to navigate a booze-free party at my own pace. They were also magically delicious.

I wish I spent more of the night focused on gratitude for the humans and food that surrounded me. They were grade-A wonderful. The night was full of conversation, hot-tubbing, dancing, eating, jamming, and worrying. The worrying infiltrated everything. I worried that I was acting too awkward, that I wasn’t asking enough questions, that I wasn’t as fun as my drunk self. I worried that I was making people uncomfortable by not drinking or that I was defective and didn’t belong around other humans.

Reflecting, I feel proud. Sure, I spent a lot of time worrying but I also spent a lot of time dancing and talking and hot-tubbing and eating. I didn’t let the worry actually stop me from doing anything. I stayed up until 3AM completely sober, flossing with the drunkest of the crowd. I talked to strangers and laughed a lot. I didn’t have a single drink. I woke up the next morning feeling the best I have ever felt waking up in Ridgewood. The drive back upstate didn’t make me want to puke and I joked the whole way home. I was able to eat breakfast at a nice cafe, drink a coffee, and love up on my husband. I had a great Sunday.

Some day I hope to not use ginger beer as a crutch to get me through parties but there is no shame in doing what I have to do to not miss out on some fun while sticking to my goals.


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