Dec 15: Having Sober Holidays

Having Sober Holidays

A few Christmases ago, my family gathered at my sister’s house for the traditional dinner. It was very nice. Her husband played bartender and made sure all the adults had what they wanted. They all know I’m in recovery, so no one offered me a drink. Things were going well until Ron pulled out a beautiful little Waterford glass and began to pour an equally beautiful bright red liquid into it. It was the prettiest drink I’d ever seen. My eyes and my mind became transfixed. I wondered what it would taste like. I thought of myself holding that pretty drink. My mind played with the idea until I finally got up and left the room. There’s no doubt that I am an alcoholic!

No matter how long I’ve been sober, my alcoholic mind still focuses on alcohol when it is present. When I was newly sober, my attention could not escape it. The beer and wine section at the grocery store was like a huge scary trap, waiting for me to come browse. In a restaurant, I was well aware of who was drinking at the tables surrounding me, and I was watching how each person drank. When I was with people who were drinking, I kept count of how much they’d had. Unfinished drinks still bother me. I’m still especially vulnerable to the next drink during the holiday season.

During the Christmas and New Year holidays, alcohol presents a special fascination and a dangerous threat. How does a newly sober alcoholic avoid the temptation?

This week, I invite you to share your experiences with alcohol during the holiday season and your strategies for staying sober at a time of year when it seems almost everyone else is drinking. Of course, please share on anything you need to talk about.