Alcohol is everywhere. It permeates our culture. It’s in advertisements, movies, literature, our yoga classes (which still baffles me). Before I started getting serious about sobriety, I hadn’t really noticed because it was so ingrained into my everyday life. Of course we can find it in all the old familiar places: bars, clubs, restaurants. But it doesn’t end there. We’ve got book clubs with wine. Baby showers with wine. Painting classes with wine. Concerts in the park. With wine. We are constantly being inundated with the idea that we need alcohol to have fun, socialize, kick back, or function successfully.
I did it! I’ve officially made it through the holidays without drinking. It was not easy and I had doubts about whether I would make it through New Year’s.
Y’all. It is December 26th and I feel like a weight has lifted. I am reveling in the magic of this morning (with a dash of grief for the death George Michaels to which I say, “F*ck you, 2016”). I woke up, dragged my ass to the gym, made a protein smoothie and then gave myself some space to appreciate the fact that I am not in bed hungover with a slight cough from smoking because I came very, VERY close to that reality.
Everybody who celebrates (and many who don’t) have their own relationship with Christmas. Generally speaking, I like this holiday. I like the music, the baked goods, the warmth. For me Christmas evokes the imagery of fire places, warm sweaters, hot cocoa, and family. Last year was particularly great as I got to spend the holiday season in Rome. This year, however, the hubs and I stayed in the UAE, far away from family and friends and I struggled through the entire day. Here are the three very big thorns in my sober side from Christmas 2016.
With each relapse I’ve had since June 2016, I’m always reminded the next day that my brain is at odds with alcohol. The effects range. I may wake up with the shakes and feeling like I might jump out of my skin, heart racing, and mind a jumbled mess. It is also possible that I will wake up feeling incredibly depressed and have to dig deep just to get out of bed and wash or eat. Sometimes I wake up feeling wound up. I bounce off the walls and want to go, go, go!
Why the Jekyll and Hyde routine? There are two answers to that question…
At some point in your sobriety journey, you have probably tried (and failed) to moderate your drinking. This is a common thread among all of us. But why? Why can’t we moderate?