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Showers, Weddings and Drinking or Not Drinking…

Showers, Weddings and Drinking or Not Drinking…

Showers, Weddings and Drinking or Not Drinking…

Lauren’s Bridal Shower took place a couple of weekends ago in Florida at Kim’s house. We were sitting in front of everyone while she opened presents – me in a chair by her side. I reached around behind us to the fireplace hearth where our drinks were sitting in identical stemless wine goblets. And as the glass neared my face I was enveloped with the (glorious) smell of chardonnay.


Now, I do not drink wine. Nor do the ladies-who-lunch want to liaise with me if I do. So, I discretely put Lauren’s glass back and picked up my own non-alcoholic fare. It was a passing moment – no cause for alarm. Not even a hint of wanting to take a swig of Lauren’s wine “by accident”.


If I Were Still Drinking…

But, as I reflect on that day – and it was wonderful – I can’t help but think about how this momentous occasion would differ if I were still drinking. Every day in recovery from an alcohol use disorder is a gift (speaking of which, weddings are a windfall).


But when you think about something as important as your daughter’s wedding… recovery takes on new meaning. 


All good – no mistaken gulp of chard here…


As a sensible wedding sounding board

I live a thousand miles away from the wedding action, but we have communicated almost every day as the event gets closer (the wedding is next weekend). Discussing everything from bridesmaids’ gifts to the contingencies if Kodi (a spirited puppy who is in the wedding) decides to beeline into the audience instead of down the isle. As a former seat-of-the-pants drunk, it is bliss to be the one who is consulted. And trusted…


wedding guests

Unruly members of the bridal party? Fiona and Kodi…


No longer the relative who has to be explained…

I know it must have been stressful to have me as a mother during my active addiction. Thank God no one has to apologize for me at showers, parties or the reception. And the wedding is in an urban garden with cobblestones – can you imagine drunk M in (unrecommended) stilettos? Clinging to my son’s arm, stumbling down the isle with a bottle of wine sloshing in my gut?


A paucity of pratfalls and gaffs…

As it turns out, I will give a speech at the wedding. There will be no “liquid courage”, ribald comments, stumbles, slurs or unnecessary swilling of the toasting champers before the toast. Excuse me can I get a refill? Oh for God’s sake – leave the bottle.


The way I look

I know I shouldn’t care but I’ll be seeing folks I haven’t seen for years. In the old photos of me at Kim’s daughter’s wedding, at the tail end of my active addiction, I’m overweight and puffy. Wearing my only old black dress that fits. Thinking about getting home so I can … you guessed it… drink. Now I’m a few years older, but damn if I don’t look good in my mother-of-the-bride outfit!


I LOVE everybody…

There are none of those drunken squabbles to prevent, no festering resentments. I might not love everyone, but even my ex-husband and I have reached a separate peace. The seating chart is no problem for me – put me next to anyone you want sweetie…


The uncomplicated freedom to attend a wedding without drinking…

…or worrying about how I’m going to make it through. It took a couple of years, but I no longer feel the need for a secure exit strategy. I am no longer bored at parties or resentful that I can’t drink. So the timing is perfect… Will I dance like no one is watching? Those days are gone, but I just might kick off my 4 inch Sam Eddlemans and hit the floor for the Electric Slide


Because it’s not about you Mare

When a substance use disorder consumes you, it becomes all about you. How nice to take an unencumbered backseat and shine a light on the star attraction. I love you Lauren. I can’t wait for the hoopla to begin!


It’s not an excuse, but weddings and drinking (or not drinking) are triggers for those in recovery…


And for my take (as well as reader experiences) on weddings from August, 2016:

Why are Weddings Triggers for Alcoholics?


Today I’m not drinking, because my daughter is getting married!

So, how come you’re not drinking?

E2E – Hi girls. We think of you always…

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar
    Mar 1, 2019

    How come you're not drinking?

  2. Avatar
    Mar 20, 2019

    How come you're not drinking?
    Cause it feels good to not be the drunk in the room
    Hi Marilyn. I love that you used the word “freedom” to describe NOT drinking (at a wedding, no less). While it didn’t pop up over night for me, as time passes I sometimes get an almost giddy feeling realizing just how uncomplicated not drinking is. It is “freeing”.
    Likewise, when you talk about being consulted and trusted …good job, eh?
    Thanks as always for putting my feelings into words

  3. Avatar
    Apr 13, 2019

    How come you're not drinking?
    I'm scared of alcohol and how my day will end
    I’m not drinking because I’m terrified how the day will end.

    • Marilyn
      Apr 13, 2019

      I hear you. A wise therapist once told me to play a scenario through to the final conclusion after the first drink. It is scary to think of the consequences.

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