It can appear harsh, especially at Christmas when everyone around you is planning Christmas parties, buying in wine and spirits by the trolley load and generally getting into the festive spirit, if you are sober but stuck in the mindset that alcohol is something worth having in your life.
First of all, if you really thought alcohol was wonderful, you would never have wanted to stop drinking it in the first place – the thought wouldn’t have entered your head. You came to the conclusion that you should dry out, either permanently or for a little while, because you knew it was the booze that was getting you down.
Alcohol hasn’t become your friend in the time between quitting and now – your relationship with it would be exactly the same today as it was then. My own experiences with alcohol were such that once I took that first sip I couldn’t stop; I drank until I passed out (or the booze ran out); I was overwhelmed with self-hatred and shame every day after the night before. And if I started to drink again tonight, the outcome would be identical.
So my advice to anybody who is teetering on the brink of temptation at this festive time is DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY in order to avoid landing yourself in a trigger spot. Don’t try going to the pub stone cold sober on New Years Eve when all around you are absolutely hammered – go out for a meal instead, or maybe invite a few good friends round to your place, people who you trust won’t be making drunkenness the only goal of the night. On Christmas Day, make sure you have activities (board games, a nice walk in the countryside) planned around the present opening and meal; that way you won’t be considering sneaking a bottle of wine open out of boredom. Try out some alternative drinks that are fun to make and taste great. If you are stuck for ideas then have a look at Soberistas.com on Sunday, when our top three favourite mocktail recipes will be featured in the Diet & Nutrition section.
It’s all about changing from the inside out – acting like the old you minus the booze is like attempting to get a makeover by changing your coat. Go for the whole package, its much more exciting! Learn how to be different, and eliminate old cravings; open your mind to an alternative lifestyle. Christmas can be a great time to start on the new you!