My first sober Christmas has passed and I’ve survived, sobriety intact.
It was a low key one, in that we had been invited out for both of the big days. Doing less physically, makes it easier on my stress levels. I had very little food or preparation to do and this really did help with keeping me calm and allowed me the time to check in with sober blogs/pals/podcasts, grab a bit of me time.
Christmas Day was lovely. It was such a treat to wake without a heavy head and not feel bleary eyed and out of sorts all day. I have celebrated a bit too much on Christmas Eve on more than one occasion and it has never been worth it.
I loved not having a hangover and not worrying about what time it would be ok to open the Champange and if anything would interrupt me once I got started with drinking. I felt calm, in control. We went to my brother’s and although I had some pangs when the fizz came out and when everyone was having wine with dinner, I let it pass and got on with enjoying the food and the company. There was only one comment, as usual it was made by the person who drank the most during the day and evening. It wasn’t a big deal, just someone surprised at how someone else could be refusing the lovely vino on Christmas Day of all days?? I have to admit, that person would have been me in the past. No other comment was made. There was a huge gang of us and we stayed the night. I went to bed with a clear, happy head after making sure all of the children were in bed, accounted for. God knows who did that in previous years, but it wouldn’t have been me.
/The rest of the holidays have been much more restful than usual and I am sure that this is because I am calmer. I have less covering up to do all of the time, no guilt or drinker’s remorse to cope with so I actually feel entitled to a break. I’ve been reading, watched loads of movies and some bad tv, it’s been chilled.
And already it’s New Year’s Eve…another celebration, another reason to drink?
I have turned down invitations to party. Frankly, while I have loved my Christmas, I’ve have had my fill of people boozing and I have opted for a night in. I am not really into NYE, I am much more of a Christmas person, love it, but by NYE the lows of drinking copious amounts of all types of alcohol would have settled in and I really would be partied out. So, it’s not a night that I really associate with drinking lots, as I would usually just have a couple with dinner and an early bed. I have rarely seen midnight in the last few years, except when we have been invited out to dinner and I have felt obliged to drink until Midnight and then bang out an off key version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, followed by tragic karaoke.
This year in our house there is much excitement by the children about it. I think it’s mostly due to the TV being spiced up again today and tomorrow and the fact that they are at the age now where they can probably outlast me in the ‘staying up’ stakes. So, we are having a fun meal and we made a scrummy trifle this morning which is chilling and I’m dying to taste! Hopefully, I will see midnight, but I do know that I will be sober and tomorrow I will start the New Year as I mean to go on, clear headed and proud of myself.
It’s important to recognise each little victory and getting through these holidays is hard work. Whether you get cravings or not, it’s not exactly fun being surrounded by the excitement of people drinking and it’s very prevalent at this time of year. There have been parties, lunches, dinners, work events, family get-togethers, all of which come with pressure or a need to drink. Most people drink at this time of year to get through it, even the teetotals have a sherry at Christmas!
I think it’s ok to entertain a little ‘woe is me’ time and feel a bit sorry for yourself too. It’s hard to give up alcohol and live your life without any escapism. It’s one thing to choose a way of life that makes you different from everyone else but I didn’t ask to be addicted to alcohol. It’s not my fault that they forgot my off-switch. I didn’t choose this path. It chose me.
I have accepted that I can’t drink, can’t participate, can’t join in the drinking games but that doesn’t mean that I can’t feel a bit put out about it now and then. And if that means that I have to recognise the sacrifice that I make in staying sober and pat myself on the back for doing a good job of it, then I will do whatever it takes to feel better about this. I think it’s worth remembering that we didn’t put ourselves in this situation. We are kicking ass here by dealing with, getting and staying sober, supporting each other, hanging in there. Three cheers for the sober community!!!
So, whether you’ve had a sober Christmas or not…if you are here reading blogs, you are in the right place, on a better path. There is still time to ring in the New Year sober style. Let’s put drinking in the past where it belongs.
Happy New Year Everyone! Here’s to January when we can all say…
‘Drinking? Yeah, I used to do that, but it is so last year!’