I know that in early sobriety it’s really hard to get through all the “firsts,” especially the first sober holidays. The whole idea that we will not drink ever again may still be overwhelming and scary to you. I remember those days clearly. I just couldn’t get pass the forever part; really, forever-ever!? Yes, it is daunting but many of us have done it and so can you!
To help me get through it all, I like to look back at my life and compare my thens and nows, especially when it comes to the holiday season. Because the further away I am from my last drink, the less I remember how it used to be. But I am not immune to relapse, and I don’t believe that any one of us are. This disease is cunning and baffling indeed. I’ve seen people with all kinds of time go back out. This is why most of us believe that we are never cured, and that recovery must continue throughout our entire lives – which, in reality, is a very small price to pay for a happy and meaningful life.
And of course, even being in long-term sobriety I am not immune from craving a drink now and then. The craving is usually more of a desire to escape all the craziness, and the stress, and the demands that I put on myself trying to organize all the events, and make everyone happy. Now days, I rarely actually want to drink. But, like they say, a drink is only an arm’s length away, especially during the holidays when celebrating and drinking go together like bread and butter!
I know all those people out there may look like they are just having a blast, drinking, and partying, and celebrating. They make it look so very glamorous and enticing. But my reality was much different, and it all somehow, always, ended up being a huge nightmare!
So I think it’s good to remember how it really was, and what I DON’T miss about drinking during the holidays:
- I don’t miss drinking alone on Christmas Day!
- I don’t miss my holidays spent in a hangover daze.
- I don’t miss waking up and having to throw up first thing.
- I don’t miss blacking out and panicking about last night’s events.
- I don’t miss having to plan everything around my drinking.
- I don’t miss the red-eye, or the dry skin, or the cotton mouth, and having to pretend that I was sick.
- I don’t miss smelling like booze from the night before and having to over perfume myself.
- I don’t miss hiding, and lying about how much I drank before, or after, or during the night.
- I don’t miss running out of booze and being angry that my friends didn’t have anymore.
- I don’t miss not remembering plans, or being late for everything.
- I don’t miss wrapping presents and passing out half way through.
- And I surely don’t miss the resentment I felt towards everyone who was able to drink like a “normal” person.
I know you have many more things that you don’t miss, to add to this list, so please share in the comment section. Lets remember how it really was, and look forward to how it can be, while we build our new sober memories for this holiday season!
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