I’m 80 days sober today. Hooray, of course, but it also doesn’t feel like much since I have been here before. When I pass the 200 mark, I’ll be soaring with pride. New territory is always more fun. Alas, I should still celebrate my victories, however familiar…so cheers to 80 days sober!
I work at a hip Chinese restaurant in Austin, TX. If you are assuming I’m surrounded by hungover coworkers nearly everyday (and we don’t have to be at work until 3:30pm, mind you), you can give yourself a pat on the back, because that stereotype exists for a reason, my friends! Especially in Austin. This city embraces drinking more than I ever thought possible (outside of Vegas), and more than half the working citizens are part of the Service Industry. So, naturally, my sobriety isn’t talked about much. It makes most Industry folk pretty uncomfortable, because it forces them to think about their own habits with alcohol and drugs. I occasionally get coworkers telling me something alcohol related and then catching themselves saying, “Oh yeah, sorry, you don’t drink”, but for the most part it’s just something we don’t talk about.
The other day I was especially energized (I naturally have a lot of energy. I used to be embarrassed by this and definitely [subconsciously] used alcohol to mellow me out, which actually backfired because it turned me into a tornado), dancing around and singing, or whatever I do when I’m in a silly mood, and one of my coworkers turned to me and said, “Are you drunk?!”. Maybe some people would have been offended by this. I, however, try to have the view that you choose when you are offended. Sure, people can say rude, mean, or even hateful things, but your reaction is your choice. I decided to play along, and before I knew it, he was about to tell my manager I was drunk. I couldn’t stop laughing. I thought it was the funniest thing. I was happy, genuinely energized, and being playful, yet my coworker couldn’t imagine this behavior happening unless I was inebriated.
This little story just outlines the things we, as sober people in a sea of drunks, have to face and deal with daily. I am confronted with my choice to be sober every day, I can either choose to be empowered, lucky, smart, sane, or any other positive word you’d like to describe the incredible feat of sobriety; or I can wallow in my shame and live my entire life wishing I could continue poisoning myself (go on, replace “alcohol” with “poison” and before you know it you’ll realize how crazy the whole thing is).
Thank greatness I figured this out. My life thanks me for it every. single. morning.
Love + Light,