Thursday, 16 July 2015

Instant Bonding

I had to collect #1 from a new friend's house yesterday. I'd never met her Mum, but I liked her instantly. I could see us becoming friends.

"Cup of tea?" she asked, "or a glass of wine?"

It was six thirty. A perfectly reasonable time for a glass of wine.

"Ooh. Tea, please," I replied. (Obviously. Get with the programme...)

I could see the disappointment in her eyes. Not because she's a drunken lush and desperately wanted to open a bottle (I can tell that look by now!), but because of what it said about me.

I miss alcohol (and cigarettes) for their ability to create an instant bond. The tea or wine test - in my book - was a way of telling what sort of person you were dealing with.

I often used to employ the test with potential new friends. Those who replied 'wine' were, I decided, the fun ones. Grown up when required, but always young, wild and reckless at heart. The 'wine' responders were my crew. My posse.

When I replied 'tea' to the new friend, she thought 'responsible, sensible, straight....dull.' And that's not me!

I desperately wanted to say "Better not open the wine, unless you want to haul me out of here at 2am after having heard my full life story and seen my comedy version of a cabaret striptease." But I didn't want to scare her off completely.

Cigarettes were the same. I made some of my lifelong friends huddling in a garden trying to get the Zippo lighter to work at a party, or when banished to the smoking section of an office, restaurant, train or aeroplane (remember those days?).

What I miss by not doing AA (do you think I'm gradually talking myself round?) is a new posse.

And ex-drinkers are, in many ways, the best posse of all. (See Why Ex-Drinkers Rock! and Why Ex-Drinkers Rock Part 2)

I was reading a new novel (BUY IT! It's a lovely page-turner with romance, drinking, recovery, AA...what's not to like?) by Jane Green about an alcoholic and her chequered life called Summer Secrets.

The heroine, Cat, describes the people she sees at AA. It's a meeting she hasn't been to before. She says:

I know the people. I recognise the look we have, all of us who have lived a little too hard, partied a little too long, done everything a little harder, faster, longer. Addicts and alcoholics. People of extremes.

We are, as a group, often too fat, or too thin. We are too tanned. Our fashion sense is out there. But our hearts? Our hearts are as big as the ocean.

And that's us, my friends. You and me. The new crew.

Love SM x


  1. So good. So true. I miss the fun, but then remember.

  2. Greetings from hot and sunny south of france. First successful attempt at getting online in 2 weeks!!! Haven't touched a drop and feel amazing. It's not even been that hard but have missed reading all my AF blogs sooooo much! So am catching up and loving reading all tbat I've missed as quickly as I can before wifi disappears. So many great points made sober mummy! Looking forward to getting back to my daily fix as I've missed it xxx

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  4. Hi sober mummy! I have just finished reading your entire blog from start to finish over a 2 day period. I am on Day 5 today. You have inspired me sooo much! I can relate to every one of your posts and we have a very similar life story (I'm in Canada). I am heading to our lake house this weekend for my first sober weekend ever. Nervous but I know I can do it. I am reading Jason Vale right now too. Just wanted to say what an inspiration you are too me. xoxo

    1. Hi healthynursemom! Welcome, and well done! YOU CAN DO IT! Thanks so much for reading the blog, and for posting. Keep in touch - it helps to have friends. And be good to yourself - you're doing an amazing thing and you deserve some treats....SM x

  5. Try not to put thoughts into your new friends head. im sure she thought you were lovely.

    I disagree with the book experience. I have met many Wien among me at AA meetings who look perfectly fine. Like me, wearing lulu lemon and sporting a ponytail.
    Sure, there are the hard cases, women who lived on the streets, etc.
    But many meetings could be book clubs from the looks of them.

    But I do agree with the heart. The love and acceptance that can be found at AA is a deep as the ocean. The biggest change most make in recovery is the willingness to share and to listen. Without judgement. But instead with the inner thought of "me too".

    I was never a hard drug user, but occasionally someone with alcohol and drug addiction comes to the meetings. And everything she says makes sense.


  6. Hi SM,
    I was at the shops last night so bought the book. I love Jane Green, and have most of her books. So I was wrapped to find out she had a new one and that it was about what I'm going through at the moment. Loving it already! Thanks for the tip (again!)
    A x

  7. Amen sister! I totally identify with what you are saying!! I know my life is better without drinking, but sometimes I'm so bored of myself I can't stand it!

    You should give AA a's helped me out a lot.

    I raise my cup of tea to you in solidarity :)

  8. I'm now reading the Jane Green book. Thanks for the tip. Engrossing and fun. I keep pausing as memories pop up. Times I remember being under the influence. Thinking no one knew. Thinking no one could smell the vino or notice all the tell tale signs.

  9. grrr.. I'm not sure what happened to my comment so apologies if i repeat myself. It's early friday night where I am and I'm freshly showered and in my pjs dunking sweet biscuits into my cup of tea already. I miss the "bonding" that drinking and smoking used to bring but I now would prefer to wake up refreshed with my hair still smelling like shampoo :) cup of tea and biscuits! rock n roll!

  10. I love your posts. Each one profound and carries a message that stays with me throughout the day. Going to buy that book now. Rx

    1. That means a huge amount coming from you, Rachel - thanks! Enjoy the book! SM x