Happy Holidays Everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t posted this earlier because I know first hand how hard it is to get or stay sober during the holidays. I’m going to give you want has worked for me and now I know I am the relapse queen but I do have experience in staying sober during major life events such as the holidays. For some reason I actually follow ‘the rules’ when it comes to this time of the year maybe because I made such a fool of myself over the years around this time and when I say fool, I mean stupid drunken fool. It’s like it’s a fabulous time to just say fuck it and drink everything in sight. So this year I would like to give you all for the holidays what has worked for me and what has helped keep me sane and sober.
I first want to talk about the party aspect of this time of the year whether it’s a party that’s going to be for Christmas or New Years, for the alcoholic any party can be intimidating especially the newly sober alcoholic. For myself I must have a plan and a list before I even consider going, my list would include all the good times sober and all the bad times drunk and I carry it with me, if need be go into the bathroom and read it, take a short break to get the alcoholic fuzz out of my head and get back to what reality really is and for the active alcoholic, it’s pain, depression, hangovers, hospital trips, my family not wanting me to be around, my family scared of me, ect… It’s okay if you take a break during the party, nobody will miss you for five minutes. Take a drink with you to the party or have a nonalcoholic drink in mind because you know when you arrive someone’s going to ask you what you want to drink, most likely they’ll ask “The usual?” Your response could be something like “No not right now, my stomach has been bothering me.” or “My doctor has me on this medication for heartburn and she said not to drink alcohol while I am taking it so I’ll go ahead and have a Coke, do you have lime I can have with that?” Now I’m pretty honest and just say, “I can’t drink, my doctor has me on this psychedelic medication for my brain and alcohol doesn’t mix well with it.” I myself am lucky to have a husband that backs me when it comes to these parties and he knows if I say I want to leave then well it’s time to go, communication in this respect is one thing that we actually have down pat. I also always make sure I leave an hour before the drunkest lady at the party can be drunk enough to get naked and dance on the table and while going home I get to smile inward and remind myself that could’ve been me but it’s not so in the morning I don’t have to hate myself or try to figure out what happened during the blackout. If all else fails, why go? You do not have to attend any party, just don’t go. It’s one year, one holiday season you can always go next year.
This time of the year can bring about feelings in any person that they never knew existed. For the alcoholic this can be damaging to our sober time if we don’t deal with the emotions in the proper way. Every year I get overwhelmed, frustrated, angry, sad, exhausted and then of course have periods of extreme happiness, joy, or mania. The extreme happiness can be just as damaging to our sobriety as the anger or exhaustion. It’s important to remember that just because everything is going great and it seems all the world is right that you still can not drink, that one you think won’t hurt you in reality will hurt you. Keep in mind, one is too many and a thousand are never enough, NEVER enough. You can not drink no matter what, you have a life threatening disease and don’t let it own you…you need to own it and you can. One drink will bring you right back where you were before you quit. One drink will bring the embarrassing moments right back, the hell will be reality again in a split second. You are an alcoholic, you can not drink normally.
It’s not new that I am going to mention an AA or WFS meeting. Like I have said repeated, there is no better or easier place to stay sober for an hour or hour and a half than a meeting. If you can’t get to a meeting you can call the AA hotline, they have people standing by answering phones to help alcoholics through this time of the year. Plenty of meetings around this time of the year, plenty of them. A woman from WFS told me long ago what worked for her and it’s probably the best advice I have ever been given. “Do not drink even if your ass falls off. Sit on your hands if you have to.” I’ve had to sit on my hands plenty of times. Remember the urge to drink will pass, as long as you let it pass.
Lastly I will remind all of you to eat, stay hydrated, exercise, don’t get overwhelmed, take breaks when needed, and don’t forget to smile. Smiling is very contagious, if you have kids I’m sure you already knew that. Have fun and please stay sober, you will thank me when all is said and done because a sober holiday is so much more comforting than a hell of a holiday made putrid with alcohol.
The most important thing I can tell you is not to drink and drive. Every 15 minutes someone dies from an alcoholism related accident and that statistic does not take the holidays off. Be Safe!
And I bet you all thought I was going to forget links. Nope just wanted to make a list of them down here. 🙂
Women for Sobriety
DryBlogA great way to waste time and get through the horrible moments where you think you may explode. Lots of resources also.
Alcohol Self Help News
Wellsphere’s Alcoholism Community
I Want Ice WaterMy favorite blog