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This will be my second sober Christmas

Second Sober Christmas

This is a guest blog by Rachel Black.

Second sober Christmas

How am I feeling about Christmas this year? This will be my second sober Christmas and I look forward to it with an overwhelming feeling of relief that I need not drink.

THEN

December was a great month for drinking to excess: everyone was ‘partying hard’ and ‘hilarious’ behaviour was both permitted and excused. Everything was associated with drinking alcohol. Cafes with twinkly lights enticed me to enhance my shopping experience with a drink. Putting up decorations deserved a glass of wine as a reward, if not to earlier to ease the process. Catching up, visiting, socialising. It all revolved around drinking and I was always up for it.

I planned for hangovers, juggling commitments to accommodate feeling below par.  My routine was established: cash from the machine, house key off the bunch and my ‘party purse’ to minimise what I could lose. Pre-booked taxis ensured a ride home if I became unable to call.

By Christmas Eve I was exhausted. Still, I drank more wine, argued with my brother, set the world to rights with my father. A final glass after presents were laid out meant later to bed and a hangover guaranteed on Christmas morning. I would drag my head from the pillow as the children rushed in, full of joy and noisy excitement. I felt awful, rebranding it as ‘tired’, with some guilt thrown in.

Deserved to drink

We often had house guests. I deserved to drink after the endless cooking. I needed it to deal with the ‘stress’. I was wary of my drinking being observed and concealed a glass within the mess of preparation or among unwashed glasses. I suspect I did not hide it well.

I invited friends to our house. Usually in the afternoon to enable an early start. The children were left to amuse themselves while the adults chatted and drank. I resented the intrusion each time a child appeared, interrupting, needing adult input.

Even when nothing was planned, I would open another bottle of wine. It seemed to be all I knew. My mind could not fathom having the opportunity to drink yet choosing not to do so.

My Christmas stress was due to wine. I failed to see it was the cause of problems, rather than the solution.

NOW

Last year was my first sober Christmas. The decorations went up without stress or drama. I didn’t mind that they were mismatched, home-made and distributed unevenly.  My children were happy with their work.

Parties without booze

I went to few Christmas parties: ones I chose on their merits rather than the abundance of booze. I enjoyed chatting sincerely, the food, and driving home at a sensible hour. I love the frisson of pleasure after a good night out knowing there will be no price to pay the next day.

I was up bright and early on Christmas morning, sharing the enthusiasm, not resenting the early hour. The day was lovely. It did not disintegrate as I got drunk and I did not fall asleep after lunch.

Without guests, there was no need to offer wine, open wine, have wine, hide wine, manage wine. I was content with what I have, to be what we are. I did not invite families to permit afternoon drinking. I’m no longer hiding from reality, hiding behind the booze. I am not pre-occupied by how bad I feel or with what I will drink later.

For the second time, I will relax, unwind, and thoroughly enjoy one of our few remaining Santa years.

laurawilloughby

Article By

I am Laura the Co-Founder at Club Soda. I gave up drinking in 2012 and hope that I can support you to take a self-guided journey to change your drinking whatever your goal.

One comment on “This will be my second sober Christmas

  1. Lobbe
    Lobbe on

    Finding it difficult. Thought I’d be OK. Decided I was better than this… .
    Bollox.
    Not that good.
    Not as good as I thought I am.
    Been at it since 16!!
    Stopped at 38, whilst smoking weed n mdma n keatamine n the rest!!
    Restarted at 50.. . Shitstorm, really need to stop everything as lung cancer has taken hold and ? Fatty liver

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