Christmas that is. It’s been coming at us like a runaway freight train … and now it’s here. Airports are bursting at the seams … the highways are chocka with cars … familiar faces are arriving at the door step … spare beds are being filled … and our delicate sober bubbles are being poked, prodded and pricked.
There’s no doubt this is a really tricky time of year. Not only because every bloody event seems to revolve around booze, but because we’re being put back into contact with relations we don’t see all the time.
And sometimes they say and do things that irk a bit, or hurt a bit, or annoy a bit. They don’t mean to.. they might genuinely be asking questions not knowing that it’s difficult to answer, or they might be remembering you incorrectly, or just not thinking about you that hard because they’re pre-occupied with their own shit.
There’s a lot of just basically having to let things slide. Let it wash off. Let it blow out into the wind, down the road and around the corner.
If I’m away from home I always try to think back to my lovely environment and know that I will be back there soon, in my personal space with my routines, my comforts, and my coping mechanisms.
Or if I’m at home and hosting I try to think that before I know it everyone will be gone and I’ll be back in my personal rhythm .
But lets be brutally honest – because there is no denying it – it’s bloody hard to be around people who are drinking habitually and steadily when you are sober. It is just hard to have to be around that for a prolonged number of days.
I have put together my Sober First Aid Kit. Inside a cute pencil-case-shaped purse (floral and orange) I have placed a lovely smooth stone my sister gave me (it has a meaning, I can’t remember it now but it’s from her which makes it special to me, and it’s a nice cold sphere to hold in my hand), my sobriety necklace with my sober date on it (September 6, 2011), a locket with photos of my grandparents in it, a shell I found on the beach the day I decided I was an alcoholic, some chocolates, a sprig of rosemary, and a handkerchief that belonged to my grandmother-in-law. Putting it together felt bloody amazing, I highly recommend it. And it’s great to have in my handbag right now.
Go well, people. We can do this. We’ve all got each others backs. Sober is the way to go.
Love, Mrs D xxx
The best part about my first sober Christmas was that I got stuck in and had fun with the kids.
I even played cricket!!
No sitting on my posterior chugging wine. Yesssss!
Love the idea of the Sober First Aid Kit!
Mrs D, love your sober first aid kit. Lovely idea.
Hmmmm this is hard…ended up tearful yesterday because felt like such an outsider….it will be the same for the next week….just bought myself a can of coke in case I wanted a whiskey…..usually a very positive person but I have to say this one is a struggle!
Hang in there! I’m at day 260 and having the same feelings. Totally understand feeling like an outsider. I was not prepared for my first sober Christmas being so difficult. Keep posting here it really helps. We can do this !!!
I know EXACTLY how your are feeling!!!! I am at Sober Day 64. Saturday we had family over for a Christmas celebration. I was feeling very uncomfortable… then as the evening went on and my mother-in-law barfed AT and ON the dining room table (from too much wine) I thought “I am SO happy I am sober to be able to help her.” In the past that could have been me. Hopefully I would not have gotten as far as a “barforama” at the table but then again I never say “NEVER” for this very reason. So remember that when you don’t drink there are SO many benefits… you sleep through the night, you get a better night’s sleep, you wake up without a hangover, you have no regrets or guilt or worry of what you “might” have done and as I learned today on a wonderful cpnference call… no one ever woke up and said to themselves “Gosh I sure wish I had gotten really drunk last night so I could feel like crap this morning.” Stay strong!!! This website “SAVED” my life. Reach out for support. We are all here to help each other. HUGS!!!
Thank you for this post! Exactly how I’m feeling. 259 days sober and had my first very close call yesterday. Came here and posted and made it through thanks to some very awesome people with some great advice and support. Thanks again Mrs D for all you do! Xo!
I’m 33 now and I started drinking when I was 15. My memory is a bit shot from booze but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had a sober Christmas day during that time. And I can remember some exceedingly wasted Christmas days: locking myself out while having a joint and having to climb over the neighbours’ fences to break into my house at the back; having a fight with another drunk in London over who was going to use the phone box; even last year at my brother’s we had a 72 hour drinking binge and then ended up arguing about whether we should go to the pub or not (we did and started drinking brandy at 9 in the morning.) I’m going back to my brother’s this year and there’ll be a few heavy drinkers there (and tonnes of booze: he’s the manager of a liquor store) but the funny thing is that I’m considered the worst of the lot of them, except now I haven’t had a drink for 290 odd days. Best wishes to everyone and especially those for whom this is going to be their first sober Christmas. xxx
well done on 290 odd days, that is so awesome and how proud you must feel.
have a wonderfully merry Christmas and roll on the next 290 odd days
Yes my first sober xmas too! Jus off to a huge family get-together, Elderfower water in hand – anxious but determined, & logging on jus now – reading all your blogs, so comforting & reassuring, we are not alone lol!!! thanks everyone & thanks Mrs D X
Yes, my first sober Xmas ever… feeling pissy today. Day 3. Im gonna make it this time. Forever. But Im feeling pissy cause Our apartment is torn apart… sawdust everywhere – meant to be finished today – won’t be done til t least Tuesday (cause the guy doesn’t work weekends).. fucken selfish prick… no problem we haven’t had a running shower since Monday?? argh. But hey, it won’t kill me, and I won’t drink. Thanks Mrs D. xx
Thanks @gabbygirl14. Yes we will do this! Dust and all!
@MrsMoo I too am feeling pissy right now. Good for you for staying sober despite no running shower and sawdust. We just finished renovating our kitchen so I know dust. The first few days SUCK but it does get better. I am on day 61 and not craving booze. YOU CAN DO IT!!!! This will also be my first sober Christmas!!!!
I think we definitely protect ourselves while we heal. That’s why we like the safety of routine and comfy familiar settings and when we feel we are ready we step out and challenge ourselves and its great to have a few safety lines to grab when need be.
Sometimes our protective bubble gets thin and worn away and reaching out for that band of aid can be as simple as carrying a Sober first aid kit that is personally designed by you, awesome inventive idea!
Changing habit formed addictive responses to the many different triggers we experience is dam hard. It means we have to stop and think every time about how to deal with things very differently without the drink to blur the edges.
With all the drinking happening around Christmas/ New Year, it is a huge daunting challenge for many.
At the moment we see other people outside our ‘safe bubble world’ celebrating Christmas, they drink a lot more than normal, but really they aren’t celebrating Christmas, they are just getting pissed more often because they want to and in the booze world it is an accepted part of Christmas.
It all doesn’t make sense to the sober brain but the drunk brain loves the destruction! Sad really.
So, yes! We are the lucky ones! Thanks to Lotta we have each other here, on this wonderful site, to celebrate in grand style our first Sober Christmas together!
This is a first for so many of us…our first sober Christmas…challenging & exciting at the same time. I reckon it is like being a kid and wanting to do something so bad (like a roller coaster ride ) yet feeling so scared to actually do it. Then you do it and wow…the feelings of…I DID IT!!! This is how this first sober Christmas feels to me. I am doing it, know I will do it, yet the fear is there…so nice to know that I am doing this with all of you. And just between us…I hate roller coasters so staying sober is something I can do. I have my seatbelt buckled on and if you hear some screaming coming from the States…it is just me conquering my fear and yelling in jubilation!!! What a ride this sober life has been & continues to be. Wheeeee,,,,,,,