Category Archives: Christmas

Guest Blogger for Christmas – E. Scrooge

Guest blogger indeed. No, it’s just that Jim couldn’t be bothered. He’s out somewhere struggling to get through another festive afternoon without alcohol. What a pathetic idiot. So anyway, he’s out the way so I thought I’d use this opportunity to tell a few home truths in his absence.

First things first. I know my name Scrooge has unfairly become synonymous with meanness and parsimony (this is where the yanks have to look up the long words in a dictionary ) but in truth I was a man before my time. I never give presents and I make my staff use things until they are worn through. Now everyone is doing “no presents” and recycling old stuff, things I was doing in my time, but it’s not called mean spirited now it’s called environmentally sound and even “cool”. It makes me sick!

And then there’s you bloggers. Ok credit where credits due, you’ve given up the drink and that’s saving you some money. Anyone spending less money is good in my books but that’s it as far as it goes in praising you. The reality is you all disgust me . When I look through the posts on here all I see is “well done” or “keep going” or the most sickening sentiment “we’re with you”. All this reaching out to others when you’d be better off trying to make some money or fiddling your tax returns.

The worst thing is from what I can see you’re not doing it just because it’s Christmas , you actually seem to care for each other. Excuse me while I vomit! No good will come from kind of behaviour believe me.

If you want to get on in the world look to the likes of dear Donald, now that’s a man after my own heart- selfish, self centered and not giving a fuck about anyone else; thank God not everyone is like you bloggers.

Anyway enough of this nonsense, there’s some Carol singers outside and I need to throw some kitchen waste at them. So I hope you lot choke on your Christmas dinners ( I bet some of you lot are even vegetarians!) don’t get the presents you were hoping for and all have a miserable Christmas. Oh and I don’t believe half of you… bet you sneak in a sly drink during the day. Bah Humbug to the lot of you!

Ebeneezer Scrooge

100 Days- My, Doesn’t Time Fly- And Don’t Mention Tests

A very dear friend asked me a few days ago when I would be at the 100 Day mark and when I looked I realised it was today. So yes 100 days and like so many fellow exboozebloggers I’m slightly amazed that I have reached this point.  The feeling I have? I’d say it’s a calm, satisfied, proud and yet a not complacent feeling. There’s a little bit of relief mixed in too; relief that the anxiety, deprivation and feeling of being denied and resentful are slowly but surely subsiding.   Is there a single word for this mix of feelings?  The Germans would surely have one or be able to make one up, so in the spirit of Shakespeare who loved making up new words I’m going to coin a new word for this heady mix of feelings.  Here goes, I feel “ubersobrenicalmsatisfigolent” a catchy word you’ll surely  agree and which I am immediately going to trademark and send to the OED for  inclusion in next year’s dictionary.

So yes, feeling unexpectedly good about being sober and like Anne in her nomorebeer blog I had an experience that gave me a  real awareness that much has changed in my relationship to alcohol.  I was in London at the weekend for an old friend’s 60th birthday celebrations.  I knew this was on the horizon when I stopped drinking and was secretly dreading the ocassion. Same old stuff; would I be able to enjoy the ocassion, would I spend my time miserably pining for a drink etc etc. The key thing was that I had 3 months under my belt and had experienced  a few pub, social, restaurant type events. The world had not ended and so I approached the weekend feeling fairly confident in my powers of staying AF. In truth it was fairly easy.  It helped that we ended up playing ping pong in one of those noisy sport based bars they have now in London, but I really didn’t feel the inclination to drink. It was like the years of conditioning were breaking down around me.  I watched as people gradually got drunk and its so easy to spot the real drinkers in a group, the ones who order extra drinks between drinks. Towards the end of the evening I actually wasn’t enjoying the evening much and not becasue I was not drinking.  It was just a bit boring.  It struck me, as others have also pointed out, that before  as a drinker I would have drunk a lot and after a two day hangover might have said, “oh yeh, had a great time on Saturday… blah blah” and it would have been the drink making it seem like it was a fun night when in reality it wasn’t. I then thought about all those nights when I did drink copiously in a desperate attempt to make it seem I was having a great time.  I did have some good times when drinking, for sure, but I think a lot of the drinking ocassions I experienced were average at best, needing booze to create the impression, the illusion of  good times.

I know what for me makes a good time ; chatting to friends, walks, laughing, listening to and playing music, cuddles , good food, games. On Saturday I looked around the bar at one point and could see slurring words, nascent hangovers, women in their 60s groping young waiters. It was all a bit grim and I felt so good being sober.  Anne’s last post was saying something similar and I put a comment that ,”this drinking season may well reinforce rather than threaten our sobriety.” and this has happened for me. I’m feeling increasingly lucky and pleased to be free of drinking.  I’ve had enough of the language of denial, of being tested.  Stuff your tests, I’m done with drinking, it’s not cool, it fucks you up and it doesn’t mean you are going to be happy.  Like all drugs it peddles an illusion, it sells us a lie. Right, got that off my chest.

Sorry, got a little carried away there.

It’s coming up to Christmas, great.  Lots of things to look forward to.  Not a test in sight now, just calm, clear reinforcement of one of the best decisions I ever made. A warm feeling envelops me, not smugness , but pride, not complacency but a certainty, all feels calm.  Yes I’m feeling  “ubersobrenicalmsatisfigolent” all over  again.  Lovely.

AF Cheers everyone

Jim x

Tis The Time To be Merry-(Unless you’re trying to give up the bloody booze!)

Right,  this is where the one year plus sober bloggers have to show their worth.

How do you survive the Christmas/ NewYear season?

Screenshot 2019-12-06 at 11.45.50.pngIt feels like someone has said, “Ok there’s a bunch of people trying very hard to give up booze, so lets really make it difficult for them, let’s pull out all the stops to get them to drink, we will pile on so much pressure they have to crack, ha ha ha” (wicked laughter trailing off)

Now I know alcohol is pervasive in our culture but this time of year it really is everywhere.  You get invited to parties, but they are not called “parties”, they are called “FUCKING DRINK PARTIES” – (Actually i’ve never had an invite to a party with the word fucking in it, I added that for dramatic emphasis, but you get the picture.) Office parties are spoken about in terms of how much booze there will be and everyone knows the only way you can legitamately have sex or flirt at the office party is if you have the always seemingly indulged excuse that you were drunk.  What are the sober folks to do- never flirt or have illicit sex ever again?

Meals out- booze, meet friends- booze, Christmas lights- pub and more booze, and for me the absolute killer , even baby Jesus is now peddling the booze.  Yes, hard to believe but true. My local church sent me an invite to come to a carol service.  The enticement- free mulled wine! Not spiritual enlightenment, free booze! Literally, God help us!  So, there we have it, even the church and baby Jesus are tempting me to drink now.  HELP!!!!!!

Of course I used to love Christmas when I was a drinker.  My favourite time of the year. Bring it on I’d say. It is the time of year when you don’t have to feel self conscious or embarrassed about your drinking because everyone is getting shit-faced. “Hey it’s Christmas”.  Drinkers’ paradise.

Around this time I’d order excessive amounts of every type of booze to be delivered.   Tanker loads of the stuff. And every day in the run up to Christmas was an excuse to open a bottle. Christmas Day itself was my drinker’s nirvana day. Champagne with breakfast and no raised eyebrows, beers with presents, gin whilst cooking and then bottle after bottle of red wine and no one pointing the finger,  because

 

Screenshot 2019-12-06 at 11.50.41.png

IT’S CHRISTMAS. It’s OK to get drunk, make a fool of yourself, have family arguments, be part of the annual spike in violent incidents, hospital admissions and divorce applications because we are welcoming in the birth of a saviour bringing peace and goodwill to the world. Incredible!

Well I’m glad to be shot of it all. Bah, humbug.  Hangovers, embarrassments, arguments, feeling ill, swollen face covered in sweat. Get thee behind me baby Jesus ( apologies to the believers out there I know its never the fault of the child) .  I’m looking forward to being a bit different this Christmas, to spending my time sober.  I know it won’t always be easy but its probably the biggest challenge of the year so, I reckon,  do this and anything is possible.  Walking the path of sobriety hereafter will be but a gentle stroll.

Finally it would be good to hear how the 1 year plus sober crowd managed their first Christmas.  Come on don’t be shy. Share and think of it as your sober pressy to the rest of us newbies.

Rudolph the Sober Reindeer  xxx

Jim’s Recommended listening for alternative festive songs – So much wine – Handsome family and white wine in the sun by Tim Minchin. Enjoy.