Well, what can I say, our vacation was great! We went to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina (USA), which is located south of the Outer Banks and often called the Southern Outer Banks. It’s a little town with a population of about 1,500 and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Money Island Bay and Channel on the other. It is not a hugely touristy area and that was the main reason I picked it, I figured it would have a less of a party 24/7 atmosphere. 🙂
I did go to a meeting before we left and shared about my fears of people getting wasted everywhere and behaving badly, and me, of course, being envious and angry that I couldn’t. I talked about being uncomfortable around people drinking at the beach, because I used to drink/party at the beach quite often and I still have that association in my mind.
Then other people at the meeting started also sharing a bit about their fears of sober vacations, and of course, I heard just what I need to hear! One of the things was, “I want peace and serenity, but I often confuse them with boredom,” and the other, “I have a disease that tells me that I don’t have a disease.” These two lines really resonated with me. I don’t really know how to relax. I seem to have a really hard time being still and doing nothing. And, oh goodness, I have to remember that thinking that I can drink like a normal person is just part of my disease! I know, and I have proven to myself many times, that I cannot drink like normal people!
So, all in all, I felt pretty confident that these were just going to be momentary feelings that would kind of sneak in, at some inconvenient times, as they usually do. After all, we have three kids and I was pretty sure that they would keep us busy, and my mind free and clear of any drinking thoughts! But could I actually relax!? Hmmm.
Of course, then as soon as we get there, my radar was on high alert, scoping the place out for any partying, or drinking, or inappropriate behavior. Isn’t that funny?! I don’t think normal drinkers do that! LOL! We were at a kid friendly family resort for goodness sake, and I am expecting young guys crashing beer cans on their heads, and girls ruining around half-naked. I am not sure where that thinking comes from, and why I am preparing for a scene from an episode of MTV Jersey Shore. LOL!
Then we went down to the beach, I am still scoping… nope, no drinking. Strange! (I am not thinking good, I am thinking strange? Oh that’s strange!) In the afternoon we decide to check out the pool for a change of pace, and there I noticed people drinking out of cozy covered beer cans! (Oh good grief!) So, I automatically figured that we would stay away from the pool – there was plenty of other stuff to do. Of course the very next day the kids wanted to go to the pool first thing in the morning, which I figured was just fine because who the hell would be drinking before noon!? Ummm, me, that’s who! But probably not at the pool, I would still be in my room, and probably sleeping off the night before! LOL!
Anyway, I was at the pool with the two older kids and they were pretty much entertaining themselves. And I sat there. Just sat there. Ugh. Bored. Antsy. Bored. Fidgety. Bored. What to do? There has to be something to do, I thought! I started texting friends. I checked Facebook, my email, my blog, read some blogs, and started a blog post. Then it hit me! This is my moment of peace and serenity and I am confusing it with boredom! Ugh. I closed my eyes and I forced myself for the next, however long it was, to just listen to the sounds around me and become still. Isn’t that funny, I had to force myself to do this?! But, I did it, and it was great, a bit uncomfortable in the beginning, but wonderfully relaxing!
So, after all the scoping I did the first two days, I was pretty comfortable to see that there were no crazy and wild parties there! Why do I always imagine that!? Too funny. And the kids did keep us busy, and there was no time to really think about this drinking stuff anymore. After all, it didn’t matter anyway, I was not going to be drinking! And… We found a coffee machine which dispensed FREE coffee and was available all day and all night – Oh, I was set!
It also helped that the people there were extremely friendly and laid back; so very different from the run-around like crazy hustle of the Washington, DC area. I also met a few moms while watching the kids at the beach. We had a good, laugh out loud conversation about dealing with our children and how funny, yet stressful parenting is! And guess what? They were not drinking either! Go figure!
Well, we had so much fun and did so many things, I am not sure who was more exhausted each night, us or the kids! And the best part was that I was there, aware and fully engaged and available at all times. I was living life and being a full participant in it! And although there were several stressful moments with the overly tired kids, I was able to remain calm and get through it without any major catastrophes, and have it all resolved as soon as possible. Woot woot!
I also want to share this really funny moment with you guys! I know that this would seem really silly to a normie, but I know you guys get it! So, one afternoon at the pool, while everyone was cracking their beers (that’s what I was imagining) and slipping them into their cozies to hide, I reached into my bag and pulled out a cold can of refreshingly crisp 7-up, cracked it open and proudly sat it on the table next to me, without having to cover it! Ha! Take that beer! LOL! I don’t have to hide anything! Woot woot! This was so funny to me, I felt like I was in one of those crazy soda commercial! LOL!
SO… In the end, I never missed the drinking, I noticed it, but never missed it, and that is really the greatest thing about being sober for a while! Everything gets easier and you no longer can imagine living the drunk existence that you used to call life, because you realize that your sober life has become so, so much better, and that you really don’t need alcohol to have fun!
Have you been on a sober vacation yet? How was it?
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