Holiday time…

Out of office is on. Bikini is packed. In a few hours’ time I’ll be flying off for a week in the sun. It’s a cheap deal to a quiet resort that has a good fitness centre. Sunbathing, running and rest are high on the agenda.

Holidays might be a trigger for some people but I’m not too worried, mainly because over the past few years they’ve been about the only time I’ve managed to stay sober. Whilst a luke warm summer’s day in England makes me want to sit in a beer garden, something about the intense heat abroad makes me want to sip water. Even at the height of my drinking I used holidays as an opportunity to give my body a break from the booze.

I’m going away on my own. To be honest, I can’t decide whether I should be proud of the fact that I’m an independent woman happy to travel alone, or whether I should be embarrassed that I haven’t got anyone to go with.

My best friends are all in relationships and understandably, want to spend their holidays with their partners. Strictly speaking I do have other people I could go away with, but I’d rather be on my own. I can’t imagine spending an entire week with any of my single friends right now. They’d want to go out every night and watching them gulp piña coladas would not be much fun. I want to be selfish and do my own thing for a week.

Still … it worries me, how much I like being on my own. Has drinking played a role in this? Looking back, I can pinpoint a very specific time (2008) when I started drinking to combat loneliness. I’d moved to a new city and was struggling to meet people and fill my spare time. Drinking made my own company bearable. After a few years I moved again, landed a new social life and loneliness wasn’t such an issue. But by then my boozing definitely was a problem. I’d acquired a taste for drinking home alone and began to factor it in to my life. Did I want to go to that party/ meal/ pub quiz or did I want to spend the night drinking properly at home? Too often I chose the latter.

It was very isolating behaviour and I got used to spending yet more time on my own. Now that I’m not drinking, the desire for some ‘me time’ hasn’t gone away. In fact sometimes I think I need it more than ever. Without booze I no longer have an instant off switch and it can take longer to relax. Will this change? Maybe. Who knows.

Anyway – back to this week. I plan on doing a lot of reading. I’ve bought some great sober memoirs recently that I haven’t got round to reading yet. I’ll let you know what they’re like.

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8 thoughts on “Holiday time…

  1. Lilly June 4, 2013 at 9:48 am Reply

    Ah, as is often the case I relate to a lot of this – drinking to deal with loneliness but also isolating to drink. Worrying if you’re a bit *too* comfortable on your own. And it’s occurred to me it’s ironic I struggle with the sober socialising issue so much as, I, too, had started to prefer to drink alone. I’m also still isolating in sobriety too somewhat and this worries me a little bit. I’m letting it be for now – it is winter here after all, so good for that – but think I may need to work on it in the future.

    Definitely be proud you’re confident enough to go traveling on your own! Many wouldn’t and why ever not? You wouldn’t enjoy traveling with friends who wanted to go out on the piss right now and sometimes it’s really great to just be totally selfish and do exactly what you want. Revel in it I say.

    Have a wonderful, relaxing, revitalising holiday and come back and tell us all about it.

    Enjoy!

  2. Belle June 4, 2013 at 11:07 am Reply

    i was a single girl for a long time, and did all of my traveling and vacations alone. i quite like my own company. like you, i could have gone with friends, but i never would have wanted to do what they did. now that i’m married, i vacation with my husband, and sometimes we just split up to do our own things… (and sometimes i go away alone, just cuz). there’s advantages to all ways of doing it, most important is to feel good. now that i’m sober, i also seem to need more alone time than i did before. i now crave peace and silence. and yes, sometimes you can only get that alone! have a lovely time. i’m officially jealous. 🙂

  3. christinawoods June 4, 2013 at 3:31 pm Reply

    Have a great holiday, enjoy the sun and the chillaxing:-)

  4. soberrella June 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm Reply

    I wanna go too! Have fun use lots of sunscreen. I haven’t gotten the nerve to do a vacation alone but it sounds really wonderful. I do have a week off coming up. Maybe I’ll look into it.

    Moonbeam Soberrella

  5. Drunky Drunk Girl June 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm Reply

    I love traveling alone! I’ve met the coolest people on trips alone, most likely that I wouldn’t have met if I were with someone. (And after my recent trip to see friends in NYC, I realize how much of a pain it can be to have to deal with others’ drama when you’ve got a lot of personal work on your plate.)

    I’ve found that all the worrying about certain things–am I spending too much time alone, sober; shouldn’t I want to hang out; is this unhealthy to be not even wanting to be with people–sort of works itself out the longer I’m sober. So, do what feels right for now! And, ENJOY all that time reading, beaching, and getting fit! You’re doing great. xx

  6. carrieonsober June 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm Reply

    I am so in awe of you and a little jealous too. Have an amazing holiday!!! How interesting that you don’t use your hols as an excuse to booze…as we didn’t really drink to quench a thirst or because it was hot or because we fancied a beer, I do wonder what’s different for you when on holiday that you don’t want to drink lots, other than the heat? Do you think it’s because we remove the pressures of everyday lives, the peer pressure, the expectations on us?
    Anyway, I think it sounds like the perfect break and I don’t think there is anything wrong with answering the call to be alone and reflect and just chill. Especially when you don’t have any worries about triggers and aren’t entertaining any notions of drinking. Certainly when I have been away, I haven’t allowed it to be an option and that’s worked for me. I hope you have a fabulous break and can’t wait to hear how it all went..
    C xx

  7. bmc January 8, 2014 at 7:35 am Reply

    One thing at a time. learn to love being you sober and you will find the time to find someone special. Focus on being healthy first.

    • soberjournalist January 8, 2014 at 9:51 am Reply

      Thank you for your comment. I have calmed down a bit since I wrote that post – focusing on having a healthy 2014 first!

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