Tag Archives: Christmas

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

 

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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.

 

11 Weeks – Anxiety Down, Frustration Up

A quick post, mainly so I have a record of how one element in my early sobriety has changed. The weekend anxiety syndrome, that horrible unease I got around Friday night and lasting into Sunday has completely evaporated. I knew it had to be conditioning as it only occurred if I didn’t have a drink on those days. For me, and I guess, a lot of others drinking alcohol and the arrival of the weekend were inextricably linked. Drink + Friday = Feeling good, No Drink + Friday or Saturday= unease, anxiety, agitation.

When I stopped on 1 September I would say my first 6-8 weekends were blighted by this unease and nearly made me question my decision to go AF, but in the last few weekends that anxiety has not just lessened it’s disappeared, vanished. I know if I went to the pub on a Saturday it would re-emerge but that’s more about the pub/booze/good time association but even that is lessening.

So anxieties due to social conditioning and association definitely on the decrease. Anyone out there in the early days of sobriety, if my experience is anything to go by, IT DOES GET EASIER!

I won’t go on to mention lots of the benefits, we all know about those. So what could be the cause of the frustration?

For me I’m starting to see a pattern. People now generally know I’m not drinking and as we start gearing up for Christmas meals, social events and drinks parties, the word seems to be out; need a lift? Ask Jim!

Now I don’t mind giving a lift or two, helping someone out if I’m going their way but what I’m experiencing is almost being treated like a taxi service, “Oh Jim, you know the meal we are arranging, as you’re not drinking we thought we’d go to that nice country pub and maybe you could pick us up and drive us all there.” The other three all live in different places and what would have been a 20 minute journey for me will now be an hour’s journey, sit watching them neck bottles of wine, likely pick up an equal share of the bill half of which will be alcohol related and then spend another hour dropping the piss heads back home. You know what, it’s not bleeding fair. I don’t like it. Saying “why should I give you a lift” seems churlish, so I’ll do it. But I’m now getting the same with another social event and I can feel the goodwill withering. I wonder if this is a common pattern for others that have gone sober?

I suppose I could always buy myself a little peaked cap, install a meter and make a little cash on the side and just call myself “Jim’s Taxi Service” but in reality I’ll just grin and bear it. But it is annoying and it is frustrating, or am I being a miserable, cantankerous old bastard?

Anyone need a lift?