Yesterday, I met a friend who has also stopped drinking.
We met over coffee, and talked about our drinking-free journeys, our fears, hopes and dreams. I was once again reminded how connected we all are.
We are connected in our quest for a full, happy life.
At some point, in my story, I got tripped up by alcohol and depression.
I am not my depression.
I am not an unhappy ex-drinker.
I might go through some depressive thoughts and feelings, and I might still have some "poor me" thoughts about not being able to drink anymore.
That's not who Wendy is.
I am amazed at how strong sober people are.
We live in an age where alcohol runs the show. Everywhere, there are drinks offered, served, glorified.
We live in an age that says it can't be fun without being tipsy or even drunk.
We live in an age that says, work hard, then play hard…playing of course involves drinking.
Go on a bike ride, then stop for beers.
Go to a yoga studio opening, then drink wine.
Paint with friends, then drink more wine.
Run a marathon, drink beer.
Camping, canoeing? Drink.
I am coming up to a weekend where I go up north with several of my dearest couple friends, who are very supportive of me.
Normally, I would drink a lot, starting at happy hour time, and finishing bottles of wine at the fire pit.
My friends will all be drinking, and I still get bothered having to look at bottles of wine all night.
It still is very hard for me to not get the "poor me" story in my head. Which makes it hard for my wonderful Loved One.
I'm not tempted to drink, just get that "deer in the headlight" feeling, almost frozen for a minute.
Last year, I didn't drink there, for the first time, as I was just trying to get sober. It was very hard.
But I also know that my depression will be better if I go and breathe in the coldness of the morning air, go fishing, and just be by a lovely northern lake.
I also love my friends.
I know my depression makes me believe things are worse than they really are, and I tend to isolate myself.
So, I might go up, but come home a day early.
My conversation with my friend helped me.
He has had some of the very same experiences; being at cabins and being the only non-drinker.
Today, I do not define myself as an unhappy former drinker.
I am not my depression.
Today I am a woman, a wife, a friend, a coffee-drinker, a blogger, a yogini, a walker, a lover.
Today, I am grateful for all that I am.
With Love on Day 357