I’ve noticed since I got sober there has been this small inner sense of paranoia that comes and goes frequently. Paranoia about what? About touching alcohol or being seen with it, near it, etc.
When I’m out at restaurants or bars and I order a non-alcoholic drink, virgin daiquiri, or whatever, I always abnormally fear that they will accidentally put the alcohol in! I overcompensate by saying WITHOUT alcohol, or make sure I am speaking exceptionally loud so that the waiter will hear me correctly. Is this fear irrational? I think so, but I can’t make it go away! haha.
Then once I get the drink I normally smell and taste it to make sure it is in fact alcohol free before enjoying it. Even though when I have been in the vicinity of alcohol the smell just about knocks me over, you would think I would know if they ever accidentally gave it to me by smell alone.
Besides ordering drinks when I’m out, I also don’t like to be photographed with drinks in my hand. I try to never hold my boyfriend or friends’ drinks. It’s awkward for me. I don’t want people thinking I am drinking! The paranoia sets in. If I take a picture with a drink people will think it’s alcohol – if I hold Fer’s beer people will think it’s mine, they’ll think I’m a drinker!
Why is this bad? Why should I care what other people think? No one really cares about my sobriety except me right? Well shit, I never knew that. My sobriety is about me, not what everyone else perceives. This is all still so new to me.
To this date, no one has ever accidentally put vodka with my ice instead of water or put liquor in my virgin mojito, (that I know of) and I’m pretty sure I would notice.
Another thing that gives me sober paranoia are dreams about drinking. I’m told this is pretty normal to experience and I was relieved when I heard it was because I thought there was something wrong with me at first. They’ve gotten fewer and farther between lately, but they still happen every once in awhile.
When I first got sober they used to happen a lot. I would wake up in a panic, from a dream where I was still drinking, or was hungover, or had blacked out again and not remembered what happened. There are even times during the dreams where it seems SO real and I am talking with people and pleading with them that no no no, there is no way I was drunk last night or did any of those things, because I am sober! They always laugh at me and look at my like don’t you know yourself Kelly? Those dreams really fuck with your head. Luckily I try to forget about them and separate what is real from what is not, but when I am in REM sleep my body tricks me into thinking what I am experiencing is real and it is not a good feeling.
There is nothing worse than thinking I am back in that same place again, I guess that’s why it gives me so much panic and anxiety. It makes me more thankful to wake up every day with a clear head and a full heart.