Socially distant

It’s been exactly 2 months since that last glass of wine. I remember it well, as it was Mother’s Day. I enjoyed a few glasses of my favorite wine, while reading a book and sitting on my porch swing. It was lovely. As I put the empty wine glass in the sink, I remember thinking, “Well, that’s it then.” I had been thinking of quitting for a couple years. I spent the weeks prior to Mother’s Day reading everything I could about ditching the drink. So, it was not a bittersweet moment. There were no feelings of loss or regret as I rinsed the drops of cabernet from the bottom of my favorite glass.

I was done.

When I made that decision to quit, we were well into our socially-distant protocols for the pandemic. My husband and I had not seen any of our friends since January. As I sit here now, some 61 days later, I realize that our current socially-distant reality most definitely made my early days of this journey all the easier.

As we navigate our new normal– amid still rising coronavirus cases and moving target guidelines — I find myself apprehensive about re-entering my social scene, even with masks and distancing. I’m having a hard time figuring out whether it’s that I just don’t feel comfortable yet due to the virus, or if there’s a much larger contributor to my anxiety about seeing friends up close and personal.

I’ve been in a pretty sweet bubble for a couple months. I live in a beautiful log home, with mountain breezes that sweep across the porch where I spend hours reading and writing. I have an art studio on our second floor porch that feels like I am floating high about the trees. I play there. There is nothing I could want, except… company. People. Friends. Conversation. Laughter. Storytelling and … wine drinking.

So, yes. There’s the elephant in the room. One hundred percent of my social life with friends has involved wine. Or other forms of drinking. Wineries. Breweries. BBQs with lovely cocktails. Game nights with bourbon tastings.

It’s pretty easy to be this new version of myself (who I love, by the way), when I don’t have to introduce her to anyone who might not like her as much as the old me.

I am smart enough to know that yes, this will happen. When I do finally get out into the world and see more friends again, some will find that this new me doesn’t quite fit within their circle any longer. The invitations will likely drop off and my tribe will be redefined. And, I have to be fine with that. I didn’t do this for anyone else. This new ME is all for me.

For now, I’m doing a day-by-day thing. I’ve spent time with my BFF and it was fine. Weird for her, I think, but fine. She knows me. She accepts me, for sure, no matter what. But it’s still a change in our dynamic. I get it. But I also know I can’t take on those emotions – those feelings others around my not drinking. I have my journey, and I guess, if they want to remain friends, they will have their own.

Until then, I remain socially distant and happily alcohol free.