met a friend for shopping and lunch today. had a brilliant time with one significant exception. I had thought beforehand where we might have lunch, but when I suggested one restaurant she suggested we try somewhere else that she knew. and I said, yes, lovely, and we went to what turned out to be a wine bar.

the sort of wine bar where yes the food is delicious too but the wine is the real heart of the place. where the decor consists of blackboards extolling the virtues of their various offerings using words like ‘flinty’. you know, the sort of words used to justify drinking more than you should do. very much the sort of place I loved when I was drinking and a member of a wine club. ack.

we walked in and the whole place reeked of expensive wine. the menu covered in witty urbane cartoons about wine. and I had a two-second window in which to say “actually, would you mind if we went somewhere else instead?” and I decided not to. and I took rapid stock of the menu and avoiding the set lunch and its glass of wine (because, of course, EVERYONE drinks wine at lunchtime? don’t they? because that is what ‘normal’ people do?). and my friend stuck with water and I ordered a cranberry presse and calmed the fuck down by popping to the loo and checking my emails (so THANK YOU SHARON for your lovely and timely reply to my post this morning, really really appreciated!)

I didn’t want wine. it was just the ethos of the whole place was freaking me out. and I had mentioned to my friend when we were arranging to meet for lunch that I’m not drinking now. she was a bit taken aback on the phone and said something along the lines of, “but you didn’t drink that much, did you? to which I had replied,”well, I’d been overdoing it a bit and decided to cut it out completely.” because really. who the hell gives up alcohol for seven months unless it IS A PROBLEM? and she mentioned it in passing later at lunchtime and I decided not to go into it in any depth because we were sitting in Vino Marketing Central.

and lunch was delicious and absolutely fine once I got over myself a little bit. but got that post-wobble this evening. I didn’t know about this until other sober bloggers explained it to me – that you can be absolutely fine at an event but go a bit funny afterwards when you’ve been using your sober muscles in a new way.

conclusion from today – I’m pleased I didn’t want to drink but I’m quite taken aback at how I reacted to the whole atmosphere. I don’t think I am complacent in my sobriety but today was a surprise to me. most of my drinking was done at home and I have always considered that to be my battle ground. I have quite a limited social life 😉 and may need to be more protective of myself in unknown locations.

on the other hand, unlike the Millennium Bridge I have no intention of closing for two years until all potential wobble is eliminated.

sober treats tonight: chat on the phone with a friend, hot chocolate, a couple of extremely indulgent cookies, and a new expensive smelly candle.

onwards, mes amies!