I love Nine Inch Nails! They are most definitely, my ultimate favorite band! So of course, as soon as I heard that they were coming in concert along with the also great Soundgarden, and… to an outdoor venue nearby, it didn’t take me but a split second to text a few sober friends and buy the tickets! Woot woot!
This was not my first sober concert, nor my first NIN concert, nevertheless I was struggling with a mixture of odd feelings, all about going to an industrial rock show without any mind altering substances in my system! If you would have told me back in 95′, that I was going to see NIN, 20 years later, and stone cold sober, I would have said – only when hell freezes over!!!!
But… here I am twenty years later, and my awesome sober friend and I are going to the NIN concert! It is so important for me to go to concerts with sober people! There is just so much “stuff” usually going around, it’s good to have support! Of course, I tried not to project, and get my head all wrapped up in what ifs and such, but as usual, I was worried about the rowdy crowd and the chaos, and all the drinking and such – how come I never worried about these things when I was drinking? Oh yeah, because I was part of the rowdy crowd! LOL!
And of course I was worried about me, standing out like a big… no… Gigantic sober thumb! I actually came up with this great idea that instead of wearing my favorite hot pink, I would wear all black so I could blend into the crowd perfectly! I also decided that I would buy a large fountain soda, so that would look like I was hiding my booze in it, kind of like I used to do when I was actually drinking! Ha! Isn’t that funny, I still work so hard on looking like I am drinking! Oh – why? NO ONE cares! LOL!
I was really nervous and excited on the way to the show! We were running late, because we had to get the logistics with the kids squared away, and then pick up my friend, and oh, I didn’t have the time to change into all black either! Oh hell! Whatever. Like someone will notice that I am not wearing black. Really Maggie, people have better things to do than worry about what you are wearing! Sheesh! All this craziness in my head, when all that actually mattered was that I was sober and had a good time!
As soon as we got there, we went to the food and beer stand to get some na-drinks, and I noticed a sign – Tall Can Domestics: $13. OMG! $13!!? I could have bought I whole box of wine for that much! I quickly started calculating how many cans of that beer I would need to get me going, and then sustaining, but of course I would have already had a few at the parking lot, and I just probably needed a few more, maybe three? OMG, 3 cans of beer would be $40! Sheesh! I am sure glad that I am not drinking anymore!!
Then the flashbacks came rolling in… I went to many concerts when I was drinking, it just seemed like the perfect place and the perfect reason for getting wasted! I always drank before the concerts, with the expectations that I would start with a good buzz and not have to drink much more at the concert. Of course all this just so I would not possibly look like I had a drinking problem – although it was really hard to look like you had a drinking problem at a concert! LOL! Nevertheless, my great plan often failed, and I drank way more than I intended! In fact, I rarely was able to actually drink just a few; once I got started there was no pacing myself, and no off switch!
So there were many drunken nights at concerts, and I often got lost and ended up wandering around. Sometimes I would spend hours trying not to vomit or actually vomiting. Sometimes I would need help walking, sometimes I would pass out, and sometimes my so-called friends would just leave me there. Yep, that happened. Then the next day of course, I would not remember anything, and had to listen to the stories, only hoping that I was not a part of them. All that seems so crazy now, but I remember that I thought that this all was truly an awesome time!
Well, whatever inkling I even remotely had, in my great spiraling imagination, that maybe, just maybe… it would be nice to get drunk, was quickly squashed after that wonderful memory bubble! I used to hate all those damn memories! They used to keep me in bondage of shame, unable to sleep at night and then just drink over. Today, those exact memories keep me sober!
SO… The concert was awesome! I danced my butt off, and banged my head, and sang, and yelled and screamed! There was also lots of fist pumping and laughing! And selfies and post on FB! And guess what? I didn’t get lost, and I didn’t puke and I didn’t pass out! Instead I remember the entire concert, and I was not struggling to piece it together the next day! We had a blast!
BTW, if you did not know, Trent Reznor, the front man of NIN, is also in recovery! How freaking cool is that! Wow! NIN had once been my favorite music to get wasted to, and is now my favorite music to be sober with! AWESOME! You can reading more on Trent and how sobriety has changed his life HERE.
Have you been to a concert sober? What was your experience like? Please share!
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