Enjoying an alcohol free life
Enjoying an alcohol free life, and meeting fellow sober people on a night out.
Last night I went to a great club in Chelsea, London to see a band. The main member of this band has had a colourful past and has lived life alcohol and drug free since the 1980’s. I used to bump into him occasionally in meetings when I went, and also at a bohemian arts club which we are both members of (the only place that would not ban us!). He is a fun person to be around and has really changed over the years, and really done great things with his life, such as getting a degree and exploring many areas of music. Most of the audience were people in their fifties who were re living their youth, and letting off some steam at the end of the week.
I recognised a lot of people there who had been through addiction, I even bumped into somebody who knew me as a teenager, and who has also given up the bad stuff. Most people who I recognised had between 10 and 20 years sobriety which is not unusual for people from my era who partied too hard in the 80′ and 90’s and were forced to take action. Almost all these people had been through AA at some point, some did the programme the 12 step way while others like myself took a different approach and moved on.
There were also a lot of people our age who were going for it with the drink and quite a few on drugs. You could really see the difference between those that had changed and those that had carried on abusing their bodies and minds. The ones who were alcohol free, were better dressed and looked healthy and younger, while the drinkers all looked ill and were generally downtrodden. I think this becomes more apparent when you are in your forties and fifties, because the damage becomes more obvious, than when we were young.
I have no doubt that those of us who sayed sober last night, had a better time than those who were drunk, and certainly felt better this morning! This would have been the complete opposite of what I would have said fifteen years ago when going out without drinking, would have seemed pointless. When you change views about drinking so much, and can feel and see the benefits of sobriety, it becomes so much easier. Those benefits were obvious to us last night.
A few of us sat around afterwards chatting, (we were always the last to leave), and that was interesting. We talked about how we were all doing and everybody seemed to have got life together, whichever way they were approaching things. As I said before, we had all been through AA, but some of us had moved on. There was none of the bad feeling or crazy judgemental talk that you get on recovery forums, which does not represent the views of most people. We all got on, which is pretty good for a bunch of middle-aged, ex punks and ravers, who have all seen a bit of action.
One thing did concern me a bit, but not really surprise me and that was that hardly anyone had heard of or bothered with any alternatives to AA, such as Smart. Most had some private counselling at some point but not all, but I was really the only one, that knew much about other methods. On the other hand, there was not much in the way of alternative when most of these people stopped, but it does show that Smart and other methods are not really getting their message heard in a big way. People who could be helped, are missing out in a big way and that is a shame.
Anyway, I’m glad I went out last night. I expected to enjoy the band and had arranged to meet a couple of people there, but the evening will also be memorable for seeing so many people from my past who had sorted themselves out. I walked down the King’s Road afterwards and it was chaos with drunks everywhere. It seemed familiar yet strange, as although the area has always had a reputation for partying, it is a different type of crowd these days. Instead of punks and rockers, along with the hippies, you now have the bankers and rich foreigners, but the one thing these people have in common is the thirst for alcohol and drugs. They think they are enjoying themselves, but I think I was the one that had more fun!Google+