The festive period can be a challenge for us sober-warriors, we find ourselves around friends and family who are often drinking and celebrating as well as the dreaded work parties and New Years Eve gatherings that arise at this time of year.
I got through Christmas, I don’t think about drinking much these days, a few times a week at the most but Christmas Day was a bit of a struggle if I am honest.
I had got myself some nice Seedlip and tonic water to drink on Christmas Day, along with a few alcohol-free Becks Blue beers and felt as positive as ever, I wasn’t expecting a wobble!
Everyone was sipping champagne at my house and there was a real party atmosphere and I found my brain saying to me ‘you deserve a drink’, ‘you should let your hair down and celebrate’. ‘have some wine Simon’. I knew the thoughts would pass me by, but it caught me a little off guard and shook me up as I hadn’t had such strong thoughts about drinking in months.
It was a strong reminder that we always need to keep our guard up and should be prepared for these feelings to pop up, often when we don’t expect them.
I thought to myself ‘I won’t drink’, I have to physically pick a glass up and take a sip and I know that will never happen. Then I just focused on enjoying the day and knowing that when I woke up on Boxing Day the feelings will have long since passed and thankfully they did.
I am accountable to myself, the Be Sober group and my friends and family, I would let everyone down by drinking. In addition, I have found peace in my life and got rid of my anxiety since quitting alcohol and found so many other amazing benefits on the sober-journey, why would I throw it all away! I just wanted these thoughts to leave me alone.
So now to New Years Eve, I am writing this a few hours ahead of attending a big party where most people will be drinking, I have a supply of alcohol-free drinks ready and my mindset is to go and have a great time. We don’t need drink to make an event special, it is the event itself and the people you are with that make it either good, bad or average.
No matter how long you have been sober, be prepared for thoughts about drinking popping up from time to time. Just remember, that is all they are ‘thoughts’, our brain produces thousands of them every day and we don’t act on most of them, just let them pass and they soon float away, don’t latch onto them.
It has been an incredible year and giving up alcohol is one of the best things I have ever done, on top of this the growing Be Sober Facebook group provides me with so much, I get strength and support from other members and love being able to help people on their own personal sober-journey. I feel honoured that people can open up within the group and share their very personal stories about how alcohol has impacted their lives to help them get support, connect and make new sober friends.
Who knows what the year ahead will bring for the group, we now have almost 1000 members and we are talking about the first Be Sober meet-up. It should be an exciting year.
So now to dance sober on New Years Eve and start a wonderful new alcohol-free 2019.
Happy New Year!