SoberMe

My Not So Secret Diary

Socialising

Socialising
So, it’s been a whole year... but gradually the world might be beginning to open up again. At least for a little while, but who really knows how long it will all last. Things are going to be different, because nothing is the same.

I saw this article this morning, from
The Guardian, please ignore the drinking in the photo, apparently some people still think we need to drink to have fun! The article is about socialising again after lockdown, but I thought actually a lot of the principles from it apply to those of us who are beginning to socialise again after stopping drinking. I for one have quite enjoyed the simplicity of lockdown, but I know I am one of the few. I don’t miss socialising, or shopping, and I am more than happy to go between home and work and spend time with just my family. I can’t imagine life will change hugely for me when restrictions are lifted, except that the kids are going to need taking to activities again. I’m not anti-social but I do struggle with social situations, even with those I know well. I tend to over-think, not out of choice, it’s just the way my mind works. I can say something perfectly normal, but then feel like an idiot for saying it. I also don’t like the competitiveness that comes with some interactions, particularly those that revolve around my kids. I know other parents are proud of their children in the same way I am about mine, but I don’t understand why some need to make it a thing to advertise. I don’t like the one-up-man-ship so I tend to avoid situations like that, which can isolate me a little.

Reading this article from The Guardian was interesting, some of the bullet points being to remember that social skills don’t disappear when not used, although I’m sure I’m not the only one who may be a little rusty! The writer also suggests that social situations shouldn’t be avoided and confidence built gradually. The one that stood out most for me was to be aware of what you can tolerate. I think that applies to all of us and for the majority of the time. Whatever our circumstances, we shouldn’t feel the need to push ourselves into situations that don’t make us happy, or don’t help us. These occasions only result in us feeling like we’ve failed or got it wrong, and tend not to be in our best interests. We need to have reasonable expectations of ourselves, not pushing too much, or setting ourselves up to fail. We need to be kind to ourselves and remember where we are, while not comparing ourselves to everyone else. Who knows where those people are at, and how they’re feeling? I know that even those of us who look strong, can sometimes just be operating behind a carefully constructed mask. Our feelings can feel overwhelming, but often no one else knows how we are feeling, and how can they, unless we tell them? I’m not suggesting we walk into a venue and announce our feelings to the room, but maybe, perhaps you can have a wingman who you trust that you can talk to?

Possibly my favourite point is to celebrate small wins. I think that has to apply to all of us really, doesn’t it?

Just remember whatever you choose to do, or not do, to do the best for yourself. No one else knows quite how you feel, and how hard or easy something is for you.

Most of all, stay safe.

Much love,
Claire xx

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/mar/15/how-to-address-social-anxiety?fbclid=IwAR0g4kcDzEw_gEz514PrMp94NBHpJ0DjLrF2HKYYSg3a4nP3lbeFMuEwrGI

It’s my birthday!!

My birthday
Today is my birthday! I’m not telling you for any other reason than I’m proud of myself for how far I’ve come. What I mean is a few years ago I would have seen my birthday as a reason to have a drink (although not this early in the day). Like many other celebrations, they seem to be intertwined with alcohol for a lot of us.

Today is different. I know I won’t have a drink today. I don’t have to think about whether I will or I won’t. I don’t have to have an argument with myself over how much I’ll drink. I won’t have to worry whether I’ll have one too many. I won’t wake up tomorrow with a headache. (Well I might, but it won’t be alcohol related). I will more than likely remember everything that happens today.

It’s a relief. I never in a million years thought I’d be able to say that, as someone who relied on wine for all the ‘good times’, not to have to even think about it is lovely.

I’ve always thought the simple things matter more than anything. So today, is about me and my family, well after I finish work at least. I don’t need anything else, and that is a really good feeling.

Have a lovely day!

Much love,
Claire xx