I got married SOBER!
People who don't struggle with alcohol probably read this title and think - so? What's the big deal?
If alcohol has controlled the majority of your life like it has mine, then this thought has probably crossed your mind at some point. Attending weddings, or in my case, having a wedding and staying sober seems to be a big hurdle people in sobriety face at some point. In the past, before I met my husband, when I was so deep in my addiction, I used to picture my wedding day. I never really wanted a big wedding, but regardless, I used to think about my wedding day and think about how it would be impossible to stay sober. Between getting hair and makeup done sipping mimosa's and the celebratory champagne toasts or tequila shots, it seemed like it would be impossible. In the past, I would literally drink for ANY type of social gathering, whether being drunk was acceptable for the occasion or not. I'd sneak it if need be. I thought my wedding day would be no different.
I am so grateful to have gotten sober before my big day. I have now both attended a wedding sober as well as had my own wedding sober and here are some of my takeaways.
1. Remember WHY you are there.
Whether you are getting married or attending a wedding, remembering WHY you are there in the first place is so important. It's to celebrate the union of two people. It is a CELEBRATION. When people are cheers-ing, why does it matter whether you have champagne or sparkling water in your glass? Wouldn't you rather remember this special moment anyway?
2. Be mindful and set your expectations ahead of time.
Decision fatigue is seriously exhausting. If you go into a situation without clear expectations (and boundaries) it can be difficult deciding what you want to do when the moment comes. Think through various scenarios ahead of time. If you are attending a wedding, and you've never been to a wedding sober before, prepare to be offered a drink at some point and prepare your responses ahead of time. This takes away a lot of in-the-moment decision making because you've already made your decision ahead of time. Remember that drinking is the only way some people know how to celebrate. Refuse kindly.
3. Picture what the day/night would be like if you drank.
If you are anything like me, there was never a time where I was satisfied with just ONE drink. If there are ever thoughts that cross my mind such as "FOMO" (fear of missing out) in situations like this, something I like to do is imagine what the scenario would be like if I did decide to drink.
Say you are at a wedding and everyone is cheers-ing their champagne glasses in celebration of the bride and groom. You may think to yourself, "just one glass of champagne isn't a big deal and it will make me feel like I am a part of the party!"Acknowledge that thought and then take your drinking habits into consideration. Have you ever been able to have just one drink? Especially while everyone else around you is drinking and partying? For me, that's a hard no. So then I'd imagine what the night would end up like if I went down that path. I'd get blackout drunk, make a fool of myself, likely ruin the party, throw up all night, wake up hungover with an overwhelming feeling of guilt, shame, regret and anxiety and then have to call everyone I think I may have upset to apologize for my behavior.
Now, is that "one glass" of champagne worth it? Hell freakin NO.
I am so grateful to see photos of me on my wedding day where my eyes are clear, not glossy and I am fully present with my family and my husband.
Most important of all, I remember everything.
** If you are sober, or curious about sobriety, we would love for you to join our Facebook group - Mindful Times Facebook Community for support, encouragement, accountability and questions.
Please also check out my Instagram account @mindfultimes.co to follow along on my sobriety journey.