Time for a Change

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.New Year, Christmas, drunk clerk

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!

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2 thoughts on “Time for a Change

  1. Ann says:

    I sit here reading these entries, completely identifying with all of it – I’m waiting on a flush of willpower, a feeling to strength a real desire to stop but its not coming. I’ve left work and now have more time to drink wine in a sophisicated way…I start while cooking dinner in full view of the children and finish when its all done. My reasoning for drinking it all is very rational, i have to get it out of the house because I’m going on the wagon tomorrow but no only place I’m going tomorrow is to buy more. I have to work out whos turn it is in terms of off licenses so that people don’t recognise me. My mother is a vicious alcoholic, I’m not like her I’m not vile…well most of the time – I’m a harmless drunk with an inbuilt trip wire that just sends me directly to sleep. In the last 2 years my drinking has increased to at least a bottle each night, I’ve put on 2 stone, I feel out of control – I can see the effect on my face with redness & blotchey skin but still I ignore it blaming it on the cold. I am fully functioning, highly respected but known for my taste for the wine…I just can’t break it. I keep fast forwarding in my head and I see an old withered woman, not unlike my mother who I detest…but still not enough – I have a glass of wine and tell myself I don’t drink vodka like her!! I’m afraid and anxious that nothing will stop me and I’ll continue on this road.

    • Hi, I read your comment earlier and thought it could have been written by me 2 years ago. Visiting different places to buy wine from in order to keep my excessive alcohol purchasing less obvious from people, scuttling home with a couple of bottles clinking in my bag, embarrassed and hoping that I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. I was deeply ashamed of my drinking and knew for a long time that it had got out of hand, something that you have clearly realised for yourself. Sometimes if there are no horrendous consequences of your drinking it can be easier to bury your head in the sand and not attempt to get on top of it. That was exactly why I carried on for 20 years – nothing bad enough happened. That was until the night that made me stop for good; I had a very frightening experience, and it finally dawned on me that if I continued to drink in that way, I would be dead before too long, leaving my daughter without her mummy. I needed that shock though, because I lived in a cycle of denial and fear and addiction; the wine always won out in the end.
      I guess for you to break the cycle you will need to hit your own rock bottom – I know that is a cliche but I really believe it to be true. Drinking has to become so terrible, that the thought of living without it is suddenly the better option.
      Don’t blame yourself – you are just the victim of an addictive cycle, and one day you will find the strength to break out of it. You do have the strength to break out of it, I am certain of that. You just need to give yourself time to discover who you really are without alcohol numbing your personality and character.
      I wish you well, and please keep in touch – you can find my email details at http://www.soberistas.com so if you would like to chat privately, please get in touch. I will do my best to help.
      Lucy x

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