Being sober at Christmas

Well, as it turned out, I needn’t have been so anxious about going to the meal I mentioned in my last post. And isn’t that so often the case! I really enjoyed seeing my friends, and the evening went well – although the guy I’d never met asked me straight out if I was a recovering alcoholic!!! I think I need to be permanently prepared for that kind of remark ;-).

The next night we went for drinks with other friends and their children, late afternoon/early evening. Again, I had a better time than I anticipated, actually enjoying myself instead of just getting through it.

I’ve reached a point where I’m OK with not having anything to say sometimes. When drinking, I would have been sipping away compulsively at my wine, willing some scintillating topic of conversation to come to mind. And in the middle to later stages of the evening, I’d be willing someone else to come up with things to talk about because I’d have had a couple of glasses, maybe even more, and wouldn’t trust myself to start a conversation, in case I’d look like an idiot for saying the wrong thing/looking too drunk/etc etc.

What I have noticed is that I now manage to avoid being consumed with anxiety (mostly), and the chances are that during those moments when conversation goes quiet, something relevant to the other person comes to mind! I can think of a question to ask that will actually give them an opportunity to say something about themselves! And I listen! Wow. Who knew I’d be able to relax and have  the odd normal conversation without clinging to alcohol as a way in to  social situations?! This is quite a breakthrough for me, and I’m rather pleased with my progress 🙂

Christmas day was great, we all had a lovely day eating yummy food, giving presents, and we also played a board game – although we stopped part way through because the instructions were a bit complicated. I did get very tired at around 8pm, I guess I had none of that false energy that alcohol gives you. But I must be honest and say that I did miss drinking occasionally throughout the day. And I felt I wasn’t quite as much fun as I would have been had I had a few glasses of wine. But I just ignored the feeling, and got on with it. And of course, afterwards I was glad I hadn’t had a drink.

Today Mr W and I went for a walk along the canal, down to the next village and up a hill and back down again to home. Love boxing day walks!

We’re out for a friend’s birthday meal tomorrow night, then drinks afterwards. I started to worry about whether we will be invited over to theirs on new years eve. I think I might like to just stay home for new years eve actually, and I didn’t want my husband just to say ‘oh yes we’ll definitely come over”. But really, there’s no need to worry. I can always put off giving an answer until nearer the time when I’ve properly made up my mind. It isn’t that I’m being rude, I can just say honestly that I haven’t made my mind up yet. I think people probably realise at this point that I might not be up for whole evenings of drinking – well being with other people drinking – anymore. It will be fine.

I especially need to think twice about being around people drinking on new years eve if I think I might be thinking about drinking. I mean, I don’t know if I will be missing the booze as I did a little bit on Christmas day, but if I do feel and myself feeling that way, that’s a big reason to stay at home. No point walking right up to the edge of the cliff to see how comfortable I feel when I get there. If you get my meaning!

Finally, I just want to say a huge well done to everyone who has stuck to sobriety over the last few days!! I’m finding that although it doesn’t prevent enjoyment of Christmas by any means (quite the reverse – I’m probably enjoying it more!) , it’s not always easy. We are doing a hard thing and all deserve plenty of praise :-). And for those who aren’t quite there yet, don’t lose hope – you will get there!

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2 thoughts on “Being sober at Christmas”

  1. Mmm, I wondered if that might be the case. Last year I had started dry January early, and the year before I stayed at home, so its a while since I participated…Thanks for the advice! 🙂

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