When you’re first Alcohol Free, when you’re in early days of sobriety and are feeling a bit fragile, how do you enjoy holiday time – beach resorts, all inclusive vacation packages, cruises and big adventures full of tempting night life – without picking up the drink that you just put down? Are you ready? Do you even want to vacation without drinking? Alcohol- Free ?
This can be a hard choice and has to be yours alone. How strong do you feel in your resolve? Is alcohol free absolutely non-negotiable for you or are you still on the wall about whether or not you really want to stay sober?
What makes us vulnerable once newly alcohol free? Why is is so hard to stay sober?
Most people start to feel a lot better within days of stopping drinking. Memories start to fade of the anxieties caused by alcohol. You’ve removed the cause (alcohol) of you feeling awful and needing to stop drinking – and in doing that you feel better. At that point you’re very vulnerable because you start questioning your decision to stop drinking – ironically because you’re feeling better. So you start thinking of re-introducing the actual thing (alcohol) that made you feel awful…..
Chicken and egg situation.
You have to trust the person that on day one knew that putting down the drink was the right choice. You have to accept that at first, doing things alcohol free is going to feel awkward, strange and new, and you have to hold onto the faith that working through that awkward, strange, newness is worth the effort. But that takes a bit of mental preparation before you head off on that holiday.
Here is a list of things you may be concerned about if you are in the first weeks or months alcohol free and planning a holiday-
- Will it be not be the same as before?
- Will you think you can’t survive without drinking alcohol?
- Will you be embarrassed to be not drinking alcohol?
- Will you be sat watching others drinking alcohol wishing you could too?
- Will you be wanting to wrench the alcoholic drink from their grasp?
- Will you be wanting to be begging the barman to pour alcohol down your throat?
- Will you be thinking ‘“why the £%€! am I doing this to myself?
- Will you find yourself thinking everyone in the World is having ‘fun’ and drinking except for meeeeeeeee!!!!! 😭😭😭😭😭🙄
- Or will it be my old favourite –
- Will you be thinking “I’m not as bad as them over there!!!”
Well for me it was a big fat YES to all that and more.
Yes you read right I’m afraid I answered yes to all of those in the list on my first alcohol free holiday.
Does that fill you with dread? It did me at first. The things on that list that fill you with dread may stop you from doing it. They may stop you from even trying to tackle a holiday alcohol free.
But what if you’re life is out of control due to this drug alcohol so you decide to tackle that holiday alcohol free anyway? You know that you cannot drink anymore so you commit to dealing with what comes – alcohol free. What have you got to lose? Not your dignity – not in my case – alcohol was the only thing that could take that from me !
So I Gritted my teeth and—
Yes I went through all the things on that list and more on various occasions whilst on my first alcohol free holiday.
You may also get stupid things said to you by others which at first may sting, humiliate and rock your reasons for this choice.
Do not underestimate the ability of the ‘non believers’ to try to ‘sway’ you – the ones who can not believe that anyone can actually live and breathe without alcohol nor can anyone ever be happy or content if they are not partaking in this drug on holiday. The diversity of the comments can be totally thoughtless and ridiculous.
I used to be a non believer too. Never in a million years did I think being alcohol free on holiday would be Possible – Doable – Enjoyable – Comfortable. Vacation Sober? No! — I was pretty good at this drinking lark. Olympic gold medal status. – I was busy doing my victory dance to the podium.
It took time to learn new habits once I gave up drinking. It took time to get past that awkward new stage. But I had all the time in the World ! Bit by bit – maybe not on the first, second or third holiday, but bit by bit, things started to take shape for me.
Not right away you may ask?
This is my holiday list now. In fact many of them happened on my very FIRST alcohol free holiday 🎉🎉
- Will you wake in the mornings feeling good about yourself?
- Will you wake in the morning feeling glad you haven’t got a hangover?
- Will you feed the birds on your balcony?
- Will you hire bicycles and gently explore the area?
- Will you do the aqua aerobics in the pool instead of lying with a towel over your face because you have ‘flu?’
- Will you drink latte, tea from a lovely teapot, water, mocktails etc and love drinking them?
- Will you not care what anyone says to you because you’re now so well educated about alcohol you can talk through the flaws in their reasonings of why you should drink?
- Will you LOVE being a unicorn and alcohol free? 🦄
- Will you be free?
Maybe live through the first list – only by doing that can you get to the second one.
Just about to fly home from my latest All Inclusive Holiday with Mr Me and a group of my mates who all drink alcohol – who I adore.
This is MY choice I don’t care what others do around me
This post was written by Zoo. You’ll find more of her writing on Boozemusings here :
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