I have always thought that I wore my heart on my sleeve and didn’t pretend to be that which I’m not.

I am me, take it or leave it.

So I thought.

However, the cold light of sobriety has revealed some caveats and small-print, within me, which don’t quite conform to that held belief.

I recently attended a family get-together of cousins, 2nd cousins, and remote aunts and uncles. First sober outing. It was daunting.

Previously I would have been able to hide my nerves and shyness behind a glass or two of booze. This would have also hidden much of me. Not very ‘heart on sleeve’!

I am pleased to report that I embraced my new sober life and put my best foot forward.

The evening was so easy. It was precious, beautiful and delightful; and I had no inflammatory or ill-chosen comments to regret the next day either. Super cool! (Others did though. LOL)

My second challenge, of this nature, was my eldest son inviting me out to lunch last week. Traditionally, lunch involves many beers and multiple bottles of wine.

My immediate reaction was FAB!

My second was the fear that James might not enjoy my company so much anymore. I was worried that he might find sober me boring and disappointing.

YIKES. This was a TERRIBLE thought.

Twisted tummy feeling.

What to do?

My options were limited:

  1. Have a drink. Return to day 1. Feel crap about myself. Wait another two years for enough power to begin again.
  2. Cancel the event with an excuse, and rob us both of our father/son time.
  3. Dive in, trust that my son is an amazing man, trust that I am more than I fear, and hope for the best.

How messed up is that!? That I would worry about spending time with one of the people I most love on this whole planet because I wasn’t drinking booze? 

The voice of alcohol inside my head is a lying, cheating, thieving bastard which should not be listened to. Ever.

In this instance, it is playing off insecurity which is fuelled by the fake news that being drunk/tipsy/tiddly/off my face/wankered, etc. makes me wittier, cleverer, quicker, easier to enjoy, and generally a more elevated version of myself.

What a load of rubbish!

The reality is the complete opposite.

Alcohol might disengage me from being aware of my fears, but it certainly doesn’t imbue me with super-social-hero capabilities.

The reality is that it disables and shuts down many of my better abilities, faculties, and qualities.

(My wife says she prefers sober me – Thank heavens for that! Because I am planning to stay this way)

Back to the lunch with James. I chose option 3 of course, and am so glad (and grateful) that I did.

He drank, I didn’t.

It was the best lunch ever.

All the usual boxes were ticked and more.

We laughed, learned, exchanged, shared, and bitched away the afternoon together.

Experiences like this can be traumatic (briefly) but can also serve to highlight areas that might need attention within. 

My social insecurity for instance. What’s that about?

It might prove enlightening and useful to ask myself some penetrating questions:

Who do I think I am at source?


Might I be ok with the person I find there?

But that is for another day.


Don’t listen to the bad alcohol voice. Be brave. Socializing sober is brilliant.