One of the parts of soberdom that I am still not finding easy, is partying in large numbers. I appear to be able to do anything that revolves around food (nothing new there) but really struggle when drinking is the main focus.
This week, I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with parties over the years. I think I've mentioned before, that I would always be the last to leave. But now I'm questioning whether that was because I was having such a great time or was just too hammered to even think about leaving.
When we're young, and invited to a school friends party, there's always something to keep us entertained. It could be going to an activity centre, or McDonalds or party games. There's always something 'to do'.
In the teenage years, it gets more awkward 'pre alcohol'. The rigid school discos, where, despite the excitement crescendo beforehand, everyone ends up stood on the perimeter of the dance floor, wooden and scared. Until, five minutes before the end, someone, from deep inside their soul, gains enough confidence to enter the dance floor zone and then all the sheep follow. And the next day, everyone raves about what a great time they had.
Then, in the later teenage years, a new friend 'alcohol' joins the throng. And changes the way we party forever. No other activities are required, no one lacks confidence, the dance floor is rammed. We all have the best night ever. Or do we? I certainly never had the best morning after.
Since parting company with alcohol, I feel I've reverted back to an awkward pre alcohol teenager. I don't quite know where to put myself. I'm stood on the perimeter, looking at the dance floor, wishing my confidence would return. Not that I particularly want to dance, I just want to relax, to get into the party mood. But I find it hard on sparkling water. I don't feel 'sparkling'. I feel quiet and dull. And these are definitely two words I have never heard used about me.
So where to go from here? It's a toughy. I could politely decline invitations but that's just being mean to myself. I have tried the 'going early, coming home early', but that just made me mourn my old life. My gut instinct is that I just need to 'get over myself' but unsure how to do it!
For now, I'm going to go with the flow and hope my awkward teenager phase passes swiftly. And hope that I locate my confidence and get back on the metaphorical dance floor again. Sober.