Let the GAMES begin! Maneuvering the holiday season sober can feel like an Olympic event! My birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. So many excuses to drink between the end of October and the last day of December! So many temptations, rituals, habits, and triggers. Take the everyday challenge of staying contentedly alcohol-free and add extra family members, busy schedules, high-stakes cooking, loneliness, money drain, dark cold weather, social events, childcare challenges, missing people, or places. Oh wait, and mix in all of the crises on the world stage right now… Forget about staying alcohol-free, how do we even stay sane???
The good news is I’ve been training all year for the Sober Olympics. I have not been 100% sober in 2022 but I have been dealing with most of these things recently without drinking. Now it’s all the things at the same time, but I’m going to keep using the skills I’ve learned and the sober muscle I’ve been building. Here’s what I’ve been working on in anticipation of the holiday, with much credit to various members of my online community who have taught me these words or shown me the tools:
Have a plan!
Do not go into any situation assuming it’ll be fine. Have an exit strategy, have my own AF beverages, have someone I can call or text (or contact the Boom “loo club”)
Stay Accountable and Be an Accountability Buddy
I will make sure I’m clear with myself and open with those I trust that I have an intention not to drink and that I might need support in sticking to my goal. In turn, I’ll help my AF friends stay connected and accountable.
more reading Singing the Siren to Sleep
Challenge my beliefs
They are not all true! My mom asking if that spot on the rug is new is NOT her way of telling me I’m a terrible housekeeper, a failure, and a terrible person. I am not transformed into the bratty younger sister no one likes just because my brother is in the room. My family and friends love me, and when I jump to conclusions or assume the worst, I waste that gift.
Treat Myself to Alcohol-free Goodies
Dessert, here I come! I’ve also laid in a supply of bottled mocktails and fancy grownup sodas, plus all the fizzy water my fridge can hold. Will make time for a haircut, getting my nails done, something to make things feel just as special as a champagne toast might have… before I realized it was poisoning my brain!
Indulge in Community
I have two sober buddies who I video chat with frequently. I can say anything to them about how I’m struggling, what I’m afraid of, etc. I have our private Boom community and public Boozemusings blog for reading inspiring and educational posts (and now I can listen too!) and a Sunday Zoom I so look forward to. And I have so many sober podcasts lined up in my Stitcher feed. No, that part’s not interactive, but in addition to providing helpful tips and info, they remind me that I’m not alone. There are so many of us out there fighting the good fight against the insidious beast of alcohol.
Read more Finding the Courage to be Vulnerable
The world doesn’t revolve around me, so I’ll be doing some volunteering and donating to my favorite charities. I’ll be helping friends by watching their kids. I might adopt a new kitty! And I’ll be trying to help my kid make an elaborate Gingerbread Jurassic World, since he’s been talking about it for half a year, even though it’s beyond my skill level. These things remind me to stop being so self-focused.
What events are you training for in your personal Sober Olympics this holiday season? The Perfectionism Pentathlon? The Culinary Disaster Derby? The Travel Turmoil Triathlon? The Family Faceoff? The Gifting Grapple?
I know I cannot control others and their feelings about me, but I can do a little something every day to brighten my life, and in turn, brighten the lives of others. Whether it is at home, at work, at the grocery store, or on BOOM. I know I have a lot to give, and a wonderful life to live sober. I am appreciative of all that I have lived as it helps me to maintain my perspective and carry on in a positive way. Life is too short to work all the time, to be mad or sad all the time. I want to live a jubilant life every day, and I would love to share this day with you all alcohol-free!!
Please join me!!
Life is too short to Waste it Wasted
Come hang out with us in our BOOM Rethink the Drink community. In a world where alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for NOT using and abusing – it’s great to have a team at your side.
We are an independent, anonymous, and private community who share resources, support, and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
More for your Sober Tool Box :
Last year some of our long-term members shared their “Alcohol-Free Holiday Season” experience for our Boozemusings Blog Archive.
Here are some of those posts to Inspire you in this Sober Holiday Season
It’s a Gift Pack of Inspiration to Help You Keep Going