Dec 23: Staying Sober Through the Holidays

Staying Sober Through the Holidays

I am 48 Days Sober today and very grateful; however, I’ve been feeling some of the R.I.D. (Restless, Irritable, and Discontent) as we get closer to Christmas and the New Year. I not only have a drinking disease, but I also have a “thinking” disease. I have a disease that often tells me that I don’t have a disease, and I have a tendency to minimize things; i.e. my drinking history.

I’ve been in AA for over four years, and so this will be my fourth year in a row of being sober during Christmas and New Year’s. I thought by now that it would be getting easier, but I am still feeling vulnerable and feeling like an “outsider.” I still get those feelings of wishing that I could drink- especially around the holidays.

As many of you know, I went back to outpatient treatment for five weeks and finished last week. I just completed my first week back to work. I feel really grateful that I am back to work, and that it went really well. As much as I feel that I received extra support at outpatient treatment and now have a new sponsor, I still feel like it’s going to be difficult getting through Christmas and New Year’s.

I plan on going to plenty of meetings before Christmas and New Year’s. I will make phone calls to other women in the program and continue to talk to my sponsor every day. I will continue to pray and do my readings in the Big Book daily. I will have an exit plan in place in case things get to be too much for me, and I have to leave. My husband and children will be with me. I also will have another beverage that I can drink- maybe even bring my own to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. As of now, I don’t have any plans for New Year’s which may be a good thing.

I guess I also have to stop minimizing how bad things really had gotten when I was drinking. I need to “play the tape” over in my head. Sometimes I feel like I’m never going to get this program, and a feeling of hopelessness comes over me. That’s when it’s time to get to a meeting and make a gratitude list.

I’m fortunate to be part of Gratitude Group via email and also via Skype. When I concentrate on being grateful for being sober another day and reach out to other alcoholics it puts things more in perspective for me.

I would like to know how you all have stayed sober through the holidays and/or how you plan on staying grateful during the holidays instead of wishing that you could drink and feeling sorry for yourself. I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and all the best for a happy, healthy, and sober new year.