Re: Sobriety Is An Island (But Not the Fun Tropical Kind)

Yesterday, I read Trace-Blogs’ personal experience post about drinking and the social ramifications of her giving up alcohol. I felt an insuppressible urge to ramble immediately after, so I recommend reading her post first, because this is what I came up with in direct response:

How terrible is it to read questions that you wish you had answers to?

Very.
That was a simple one. I figured I’d start us out slow. The other questions in this post about sobriety aren’t so easily addressed, especially:

“What does one do, when everyone around them drinks?”
I have no idea.

I’m still trying to digest that one. Trace-Blogs brings up her relatives, her partner, her town, her country and I can’t help subbing in my own terms – my family, my friends, my coworkers, my state. Her post is wildly relatable and I’m not even sober. I just think that maybe I should be. I always consider it after I drink, whether that be the times I get so recklessly wasted that I throw up for hours on end, or the times I resort to wine comforts alone after a trying shift at work. My work, to clarify, is nearly a temple to the worship of alcohol. Most restaurants are, really, but especially higher end ones. We sell prestige and respect in expensive glass and blood red elixirs, masculinity and bravado in specialty chalices and amber brews, and fruit-flavored stress relief in curvaceously-held, low-calorie, liquid diets.

You can’t escape booze as a waitress. Especially not as one who wants to take the second level of exams through The Court of Master Sommeliers.

Alcohol is my industry in many ways, even before food or service. Guests rarely inquire as to what I think the flavor profile of a particular steak is, but you better believe they’d like to know the difference between the fruit characteristics of The Russian River Valley compared to Macon Villages or how chewy the tannins are (relatively) from these seven different AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in California. The only real way to learn is to drink. But… I don’t like who I am when I drink.

Why am I so tempted to drink?
Why is it more than an impulse, more like a need?
Why does it seem like a life altering choice, to drink or not to drink, if it’s only a beverage?

I kind of struggle with ‘me’ in general, you see, it’s not an insecurity, so much as it’s a free floating dislike of who I now am. I fear I have fallen so very short of who I once wished to be, and I’m grappling with how best to remedy the situation without completely sacrificing the parts of myself I still like. Change is inevitable, I just don’t know how best to go about it. Sometimes, I think sobriety is one step on that ladder though.

Can I start fresh?
Can I follow through?
Can I give up the ‘fun’ me to find the best me?
I have no idea.

Trace-Blogs’ road to sobriety is apparently a lonely one, but she successfully managed to walk that path. It is both inspirational and daunting.

Jessie Gutierrez

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