They say loss is a part of life. No doubt. I lost my father early, and an aunt, then my paternal grandma who I adored. Next came my maternal grandfather followed by my maternal grandmother who I also dearly loved. My stepfather died in 1990 making two fathers lost. My brother succumbed to cancer in my arms in 2008. My stepson died at age 23 in 2015. In recent years, friends have passed on, mostly from cancer. My mom said a frequent prayer, having lost most of her family to cancer, “God, anything but cancer, please!” She died from Lewey Body Syndrome in 2015. There’s more, especially if I count all the multitude of animals I have loved and lost, but I don’t need to go into details here. In addition to these deaths. I also went through two divorces after long marriages that I had hoped would last forever. Divorce is a huge loss. I have experienced at least my share of loss throughout my life, and unlike my dear mother who held all her grief inside, I have learned to process mine each time I encounter it. I became a Hospice volunteer because I felt so drawn to helping people experience a peaceful, no regrets, loving end to their lives. Hospice people are a special breed of huge hearted, caring, amazing folks. We need more humans like that in this world.
The thing about sobriety that isn’t discussed as much as I think it should be, is that giving up booze is a loss. Actually a tremendous loss, extremely impactful. When I wrote “letter to my “ex””, my very first blog entry, when I said “Goodbye!” to alcohol, I recognized the importance it held in my life. Booze was such a constant in my life, as it is in most addicts’ lives. Every celebration, every friends’ gathering, all the live music venues, business social events, networking, music based anything, family connections, even just sitting home alone and relaxing – they ALL included booze. Becoming sober means rethinking the habit of inviting alcohol in to all those spaces. I know friends who work in the wine industry, in wineries where everyone has a glass of wine at the end of the shift. I am truly thankful the winery where I work has a “NO drinking on premises” rule, as I undoubtedly would have been crossing the line of intoxication, risking a DUI just before my long commute home. Life changes when we become sober, and one of the harder things we have to figure out is replacing booze with other things.
I am one of those wildly creative types, a true Entrepreneur, so for me, concocting mocktails (non alcoholic drinks that resemble cocktails minus the booze) is a super fun adventure, and I am completely hooked on them. I don’t miss my alcohol containing cocktails for a second because the mocktails are absolutely delicious. I crave them just as much when I get home from work as I ever did a glass of wine or cocktail with alcohol. It’s awesome! My love of concocting new beverages with massive flavors made me think how outrageously fun it would be to start a business of a Non-Alcoholic Bar with 12 or so varieties of mocktails, non alcoholic wines and beers, tons of choices other than booze. The No Booze Bar. Live music, dancing, comedy – with all the entertainment we enjoy going to a nightclub or wine bar to experience, but minus the intoxicating substances.
You probably have figured out by now that I tend to take on too much, full of thoughts and excitement about “the next thing”. I often have an endless array of new creative ideas wafting through my brain. History has shown me that I frequently become overwhelmed by the bigness of these visions and then give up before I go all the way through to fruition. I am not about to take on a new business as demanding as a NO BOOZE BAR, but somebody should! I promise to bring lots and lots of sober friends, or any friends who are curious about an evening sans booze. I would even LOVE to be part of the creation of it, because we need more of this in our lives-places to go where we are clear headed, have a blast without F-ing up our heads and endangering the public by driving after drinking. We could really use a venue where we can just have a whole lot of fun together without getting buzzed. The NO BUZZ BAR… Who wants to do this with me?