I am back from the three day music festival that consisted of amazing music, amazing food, an amazing venue, oh and endless booze just about everywhere I looked! It was incredibly fun at times, difficult at times, irritating at times, but most of all...I STAYED SOBER!!!! Wow. Let me tell you....it was not the greatest place for a newly sober person to be by any means!! But I knew what I was there to do. I was there to see the artists that I have been so excited to see, while being in a beautiful city with two of my closest friends. I was definitely nervous going into the weekend, as I mentioned in my last post. The friends I went with are pretty heavy drinkers and so I had no clue how it was going to be. I have not spent much time with them since becoming sober, so a 5 day trip up north was tackling my fear head on to say the least. Before arriving at our destination, they both mentioned to me how proud of me they are and how it is so great to see me doing so well. That made me feel some sort of relief knowing that they are really respecting what I am doing instead of wishing I was still partaking in the drinking festivities alongside them. It was an unspoken understanding between all of us that they were going to drink, and I just wasn't. They never asked if I wanted to and they never tried to be secretive about their own drinking to make me feel better. It was all very open and honest that they were going to drink because they can, and I was going to be their sober friend who still knows how to have a good time. And a good time I DID HAVE!!! I feel proud of myself. I was dancing and letting loose like I never thought I would be able to while being sober. Honestly, people watching me probably thought I was under the influence of something because of how ridiculous I allowed myself to be :) I had a blast.
Yes, there were definitely moments when I would get a little annoyed with how "in your face" all the alcohol is, and how every single person around me was holding an alcoholic beverage of some sort. It made me feel like there are very few people out there who stay sober at events like this. There were about 50,000 people in attendance and so I know there must be a good amount of sober people who were there. They are just very difficult to spot. As we were walking around one day there was a booth called "soberlands" set up with a few people sitting at it. I walked up and asked what they are all about and they said they are a place for people who love music but don't drink or do drugs to come and have a safe place to hangout. They told me the schedule of meetings that they had throughout the day in case I wanted to come. I thought that was the coolest thing. I never went because I had my schedule jam packed with bands I wanted to see, but it was so nice to know that it was there in case I needed it. I really admire them for having that idea and making it happen at a music festival where hardly ANYONE is sober.
After the first day, one of my friends asked me how it was for me being sober throughout the whole day. I said that I was so glad that I was. I was truly able to enjoy every ounce of the day and be fully present in what was going on around me. I had thoughts cross my mind multiple times about how different the whole experience would have been if I was drinking. I would have pre-gamed before we went into the festival and probably already been drunk/getting obnoxious before we even got to the first band. Then I would have spent an ungodly amount of money once we got in on more alcohol to feed my craving. (It was 10$ a beer/glass of wine inside!!) And instead of listening to the bands that I have been so excited to hear, I would have been thinking about when someone is going to bring up going to get another drink, because that is all I would be wanting but would not want to be the first person to say it. If they said they were good and didn't need another one yet, I would get in a pissy mood and start feeling insecure. Then I would probably end up blacking out and being a massive bitch to my friends and not remembering how we got home or who the last band we saw was...If I wasn't blacked out and functioning I would have found a food booth somewhere and passed out behind it until it was time to get dragged home. That is classic drunk me. I'm fun for about 10 minutes, and then I become an absolute slop fest. Who wants to feel that way ever???? Not me! NEVER AGAIN! I was so happy to wake up fully refreshed for the next long day ahead of us and get my money's worth by remembering the entire experience. I have no regrets, no foggy memories, no embarrassing damage control to take care of, and no days wasted recovering from partying too hard. I'm so happy! I proved to myself that I am capable of being a fun friend when I'm sober. I'm also a better friend when I'm sober and not selfishly consumed with feeding my addiction. I think they really enjoyed being around me this weekend and I enjoyed being around myself too, which is something I have not always been able to feel. Thank you #1 for your consistent texts checking in on me throughout the trip. You stayed by my side and wanted to make sure I was okay. I love you and could not do this without you!