Sober in Toronto (Better Than in San Fran)

by Bill Brenner on October 26, 2010

The #SecTorCa security conference finds me surrounded by more booze than I confronted at the RSA conference back in March. But I think I’m learning how to be sober at these events.

Mood music:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB6a2jYfxNs&fs=1&hl=en_US]

A little history: A little over two years ago I gave up flower and sugar and started weighing almost all of my food as part of my 12-Step program of recovery from a binge-eating addiction. But I clung to the alcohol for awhile after that. I used booze as a crutch to keep away from the food, and by late last year I decided it was getting out of control.

So right after Christmas, I committed myself to sobriety as well as abstinence.

Most of the time I’m comfortable with it. But once in awhile I find myself getting thirsty for something hard. Especially when I go to security conferences.

The booze flows freely at these events, and at the RSA show in March I really struggled with that. I drank club soda and Red Bull as everyone around me enjoyed their alcoholic beverage of choice. I found myself unsure of how to act around people. 

Fortunately, I have a lot of great friends in the security industry. Many of them read this blog, and they watch out for me. That was the case in San Francisco, and it’s the case here in Toronto. Friends like Dave Lewis, Zach Lanier and Rob Westervelt put me at ease.

The flowing booze tonight tested me more than at any time since the San Fransisco trip. There were moments where I couldn’t help but think of how sobriety can really suck. Part of the problem was that we were in a small and very crowded bar space. Walking from point A to B without human contact was almost impossible. When I get claustrophobic I want comfort. It could be food or alcohol — or cigar smoke.

But in a happy turn of events, I felt a lot more comfortable around my friends than before.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s real progress.

I’m getting better at just enjoying the company of people. I don’t need the glass in my hand.

Thank God for that.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

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