Yes, but this does not calm me. For the past 15 years I had booze to soothe the anxiety that is inherent this time of year. No longer drinking, I can’t be comfortable at holiday parties. At least not at just 3 months sober. Last night was our first holiday party. It was not fun. Drinking diet coke from the can while the rest enjoyed their cocktails and beer. I regret to admit I felt slighted, envious, and marginalized. At least there was a freshly pregnant neighbor who was only drinking water. But I digress…the real hard truth is: this is my life now. Will be for each day and each holiday I remain sober. It’s not easy right now, but I know “this too shall pass” I want to enjoy holiday time parties. I want to feel included and not some weird freak drinking diet cokes all night long. That time is still very far away. I worry that my life will be full of these moments and uncomfortable experiences. Because of where I reside, it’s always Mardi Gras, tail gate and hurricane party time! Never without a chance to drink and be merry. Well at this moment I’m angry. Obviously. I don’t want to be angry, but I am. I’m different. I’m a black sheep in a field of white sheep drinking to their heart’s content. It’s socially ostracizing but when I think on it…I’ve never fit in. But that may be my alcoholic talking. We like to romanticize our “lone wolf” persona. We don’t fit in because we are problem drinkers. Yet before I began my problem drinking, I had the sense that I was different from “others” That I was an “other”. It doesn’t matter. I am who I am and will come to love and accept her…in time. But for now, the rosy faces of drinking party goers, the glassy eyes, the relaxed and stupid grins…remind me of my “otherness” and it isn’t a good feeling. I know I can’t drink. Know it to the core of my being, in my marrow. Yet with such ubiquitous drinking around, I get fooled into thinking how nice it would be to have a glass or two (or the bottle).