You know what Wednesday was?
It was ten months with no alcohol.
That’s a big deal for me.
But what is even more of a big deal than no booze for over three hundred days is what I realized the day before. It was a pretty big a-ha moment for me.
I have always considered myself to be a very social person. I’m not shy and I don’t have trouble talking to people.
But what I realized on Tuesday is that I have spent almost all of motherhood making connections with other women primarily when alcohol was involved.
There were very few situations where I would hang out with anyone if there was no wine or beer. If there wasn’t booze, I wasn’t really interested.
I would go out with my mom friends. I would drink and get drunk and “have fun.” I’d be loud and the life of the party and sing karaoke and act crazy and participate in a lot of conversations that I can’t recall at all now.
I was there in a group of people and I was talking and making noise, but I wasn’t truly present.
How can you be when you have five or nine drinks in you?
And it has taken me ten months without any alcohol to discover this.
Because on Tuesday I did something I’ve never done since becoming a mother.
Remember my new friend?
The one I made coaching masters? The one I’d have little conversations with at the end of the lane in between sets at practice?
Now that I’m not coaching anymore, I don’t see her every Tuesday and Thursday. We message and text each other, but it’s not the same.
And on Tuesday I met her and we had breakfast.
We talked and we talked and we talked.
I coulda stayed there all morning.
There were no bloody marys or mimosas.
And what I realized on Tuesday is that since becoming a “grown up” I have not made real true, unaltered friendships with many people, really. I have had very few connections that didn’t involve or revolve around alcohol.
Alcohol has always been the connector. Maybe not for my friends, but for me it was.
And the irony of this is that while alcohol may have been the connector, it has kept me from really being connected.
I won’t lie. Sometimes I miss it. But I don’t miss the emptiness that accompanied it. Plus the hangovers. I don’t miss the hangovers. Or wondering what I said the night before to piss someone off or hurt their feelings.
And that’s what I keep reminding myself of anytime I’m thinking too much about how good a Blue Moon would taste.
I’m not the kind of person who needs or even wants a huge group of friends.
I think a person really only needs a handful of close friends. Plus there are only so many people I can be a good close friend to in return.
But as I’m getting older and as my head is getting more clear, I’m realizing that this part of my life is missing.
So I’m looking forward to working on this part of my life. On fostering supportive, nurturing, and genuine friendships. And truly getting to know my friends.
And I’m also doing a little internal celebrating.
Cause I haven’t had a drop of booze in ten months.
And that feels pretty darn good.