I’m a bit behind with this post, but I wanted to make sure I document how Christmas 2015 went so I can look back next year. I hate blogging from my phone, so waited until I got home to write this. (It’s good to be home!)
So, how did my first sober Christmas go? I would have to say ‘averagely‘. Christmas Eve was by far the worst day. It did get better after my last blog post. The timing of our arrival was just plain shitty. We walked right into the 5 o’clock drink rush and it was really overwhelming.
The rest of the week was booze fueled as well, and I felt left out from time to time. I tried to join in with my NA drink concoctions, but I was really aware of the difference between me and the ‘real’ drinkers. I tried not to be. I really tried to be mindful that it made no difference that I was drinking a different liquid than everyone else. On Christmas morning, we were all in good company, eating good food, and all drinking bubbly from flutes. The only difference was that mine didn’t contain alcohol. From the outside I would have looked just like any other, but on the inside I was conscious that I wasn’t experiencing the same warm buzz from the alcohol as everyone else.
I am aware that I’m not supposed to think like this. I know I’m supposed to work on believing that alcohol doesn’t add any benefit to my life, but that is easier said than done. Right in those moments I was still under alcohol’s spell, romanticising the warm happy buzz that the first drink gives you, and feeling awkward in my own skin sitting at the table. I just felt really bloody different and awkward and silly.
Those feelings came and went over the week. At some points alcohol was barely on my mind. I still had a good time. I could take my mind off the fact I wasn’t drinking for maybe an hour at a time, but it would always pop back up into my head. (I should say, the thoughts that were popping up weren’t a desire to drink. I didn’t actually want to drink at any point during the whole week except for those first few hours after we arrived on Christmas Eve. I was simply just very, very conscious that I wasn’t drinking.) There were even patches where I was really content with my glass of grapefruit-berry-whatever and I didn’t give two hoots about everyone drinking. I imagine those patches are glimpses of what it is like to be settled into an alcohol free lifestyle much further down the track.
The whole week was just very up and down. There were no very high highs. There were some good patches, but they were just ‘good’, not ‘great(!!!)’. There was lots of feeling awkward, feeling self conscious. I was extra sensitive without really noticing until something would tip me over the edge and I’d go off to have a cry with the Alpacas (my cousins have pet Alpacas)…
(I read somewhere that interacting with animals will give you an instant mood boost, but I’ve also read that Alpacas spit like camels, so I wasn’t prepared to get much closer!)
The Alpacas didn’t really boost my mood, nothing really boosted it. I wasn’t terribly unhappy either. It all just feel like an average week of life (with presents and good food), whereas Christmas used to feel like a massive celebration – probably because I was celebrating the fact that everyone around me was drinking just like I did everyday. It was acceptable to let loose and get way too drunk every day for a week.
I think I maybe expected too much from Christmas. I went in wanting not just to get through, but to get through and have a great(!!!) time, but it didn’t really meet my expectations… it was just okay.