Rockin’ around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop. Mistletoe hung where you can see every couple tries to stop. Rockin’ around the Christmas tree, let the Christmas spirit ring. Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie and we’ll do some caroling.Rocking Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
Well folks! The 1st of December marked the time to jump feet first down the chimney into the season of Christmas!! And I love it!! The crisp winter air, the twinkling lights, the festive decorations, and the Christmas music on repeat!!
This is also the time for an overload on holiday parties and guess whose the featured guest? Alcohol!! The time between Christmas and New Year’s is probably the most socially acceptable time to drink yourself into oblivion and believe me, when I drank, I was one of the first to dive right in! So, now is the time where I feel I have to stay focused on my sobriety and remember why I got sober in the first place. The main event for me this year? The Christmas party that last time, in 2017, sent me down the rabbit hole after 4 months of sobriety.
To refresh your memory, I quit drinking for four months in 2017 and the second I quit August 12, I knew I was going to drink on December 14 at the Christmas party. The party that Josh and I had blocked off a year in advance. I wanted so desperately to be serious about being sober but at the same time I wanted even more desperately be able to control my drinking. I sabotaged myself from the beginning and not only did I drink at the party, I went extremely overboard. I had 10 drinks (wine, sangria, gin, shots, etc.) and went so overboard you would have thought someone was paying me to drink. The second I had a sip of my first drink, a Hendricks gin and tonic, I felt like someone gave me the biggest bear hug of my life. I was immediately hooked all over again. While in the moment, it felt as though I accessed something that I had been depriving myself of and that I was missing for the previous four months, I certainly paid the price. I got upset with Josh over something stupid, I overreacted to a friend’s silly comments about my drinking, and I got so drunk that I had to lay down and I basically passed out. I was also extremely hungover for the next two days. While I “successfully” moderated for the next couple of months (and by successful I mean exhausting and frustrating), it wasn’t long before I fell right back into my old patterns and I struggled with sobriety for a little over a year after that.
Last year, we couldn’t go to the party and now in retrospect I realize that was a gift because I was not ready for such a gathering. At the time, I was barely 2 months sober, two months behind where I was the first time and still fragile about my sobriety. But now, I am over 14 and a half months sober!! The day after the party, I got to wake up another day sober!! TA-DA!!!!
It’s was wonderful feeling for so many reasons. I was not hungover!! I remembered the entire night!! I had a really nice time!! Josh was the best support system I could have asked for and our communication was top notch. While he did drink, I can say, I genuinely did not mind. I think at first there was some nervous tension on my part since I ended up drinking my NA wine much quicker than usual. But, I didn’t feel irritated, on edge or upset that Josh drank. He didn’t get drunk. He kept his promise and stuck by me. I felt really comfortable at the party and with Josh. No one pressured me (which I knew they wouldn’t) and no one even cared that I wasn’t drinking. Not only did no one care or even notice that I wasn’t drinking. I didn’t care that everyone else was drinking!! I didn’t care that I wasn’t drinking!! I wasn’t bothered by all the bottles of alcohol, wine, and beer. I wasn’t bothered by the mini beer shots being given out. I had my NA wine with me and was able to enjoy the party fully with no bad feelings.
This is a big deal for me, you guys. I am beyond proud of myself. I woke up clear headed and happy. I didn’t feel like I was missing out in the slightest and I had no desire to drink. Plus, the fact that I didn’t have any weird feelings about Josh drinking was a relief and something that I can’t say happens too often if ever before. This monumental achievement in my sobriety journey just reassures me even more that I am on the right path. I cannot express how truly amazing this feels.
I want you to know that I 100% understand the pressure of the holiday season. It is the ultimate test for a lot of people. But it is possible to be sober and be happy through the holidays! In reality, it’s just another day. And if you made it through one day sober, you can do it again. You have that power and strength and no one can take it away from you. The only way you lose it is by giving it up yourself. So as a gift to yourself during the holiday season, give yourself the gift of another day sober. You deserve to be merry and bright!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!