I used to be a very social creature.
So much so in fact, that it would be very rare to find me home on any given night never mind a Saturday night. If I was home, you can almost certainly bet that I it meant I was entertaining guests. I used to love to throw dinner parties and play cards until the middle of the night.
And then... I decided to quit drinking.
For so many reasons, this has been such a life-changing decision for me. It has made my life immeasurably better, but also very different in ways that I did not expect.
For one thing, I really don't seem to like to go out as much as I used to. Most nights, I would much rather be home by myself or with my family than out and about.
But the other side of it is this: I simply don't like to socialize when there is alcohol around. I can do it, I just don't enjoy it very much. In my opinion, alcohol changes everything about a social situation. People are far more likely to say and do things that they otherwise wouldn't. I guess in some ways you could argue that they are more "real" or authentic this way, however, based on twenty-five years of personal experience, I would say that they aren't. They are less inhibited perhaps, more socially lubricated, but not more authentic.
You see, you can't be completely in your authentic self if you are under any kind of influence. If there is booze involved, you don't have to show up, not fully.
When you are clear-eyed and sober, there is no backup plan if things get uncomfortable. If feelings rise up that you don't want to feel or that you don't know what to do with, you have to go there. There is no checking out.
And to be totally honest, sometimes it kind of sucks.
But tonight it not one of those nights. Tonight I feel so damn grateful to be curled up by the fire and just coming out a meditation. I feel content, relaxed and peaceful. There is no where else that I would rather be.