The HOLIDAY SEASON is upon us. That brilliant, colorful, high-energy marathon of joy and stress between October 31st and January 1st. There is no time of year with more pressure to drink than these two months. If you’re trying to go alcohol-free it can seem impossible, and if you’ve got some sober momentum going it can be easy to lose it in this season.
One of my favorite Holiday traditions is to dig out old movies and watch them with my daughter. We were watching the Wizard of Oz last week when a thought occurred to me. Doesn’t The Wizard of Oz seem like an allegory for alcohol?
Here we have Dorothy, who is lost and searching for her way home. She’s disconnected.
Everyone tells her…
“Hey, you need The Wizard! The Wizard can help you! He can fix this for you.”
So, off she goes to find The Wizard.
Along the way she runs into a few people who like herself seem to be searching for something or lacking in some way. They decide to join her and hope that The Wizard will also be the solution to their problems as well. After all, everyone says he can fix it all.
Finally, she arrives at the Emerald City which seems to be a quite glamorous place. She is granted an audience with The Wizard who does in fact promise to grant her wish. Dorothy is thrilled, but not so fast… The Wizard’s promise comes with a price. A dangerous price. On top of that The Wizard is quite nasty and a bully.
However, Dorothy is so desperate she agrees to The Wizard’s terms.
Well, we know what happens next. Off she goes to kill the witch and get her broomstick. Dorothy does manage to escape the clutches of the witch, but just barely.
Now, back to The Wizard in hopes of finally being saved. But upon their return they notice something. The Wizard is a fake! The Wizard has no answers and can’t fix their problems or grant their wishes. The Wizard was not fabulous and miraculous, but instead a liar and coward. The Wizard put them in harm’s way and then couldn’t keep his promise. The Wizard has no power!
Instead, it is revealed that Dorothy held the power to solve her problem all along. The others too. They weren’t really lacking, they just believed that they were lacking. None of them needed The Wizard! Now, go back and every time you see The Wizard, substitute it with the word alcohol.
Let’s not rely on The Wizard anymore. Let’s rely on our own hearts, and minds, and courage. And let’s throw in a pair of ruby slippers and call them our sober shoes to walk the sober journey!
Let’s start today with this :
We can make all the plans and be super prepared to resist the pressure to drink in the holiday season, but then in just one single moment of “I need/want a drink”, the plan can get very blurry… all the things you thought you’d turn to instead, can feel just too far out of reach… you find yourself giving in to that deeply rooted, deeply ingrained habit of feeding the urge to grab a bottle….
When this happens..DEEP BREATHE.
Stop the thoughts. Literally, tell your thoughts to stop! And repeat to yourself;
I’ll keep going.
And I’ll keep going.
I’ll just keep going.
I won’t drink.
Yeah, but how will I keep going? This feels too hard? What if I don’t have the strength? What if, what if, what if…..
Hey. It’s ok if you don’t know how you’ll do it…. just keep going.
You’ve come this far & you can’t possibly plan for every little thing that will try to derail you … so, just keep going.
Until the going comes with more ease, practice leaning into the force needed to keep heading in the right direction. Force the momentum in the right direction, even when it feels uncomfortable or unbearable. Even with all the holiday season pressure to drink.
And when it feels that heavy and gets to be too much…Surrender. Surrender to it.
I can’t drink. I won’t drink.
Rest in the knowing that if you just keep going….you’ll keep going.
Before you know it, the going won’t take much force, won’t take much thought, won’t take much of anything…. you’ll just be going.
And no matter what, you’ll be a hell of a long way, from where you began.
More reading to help you resist the pressure to drink from from our Boozemusings Blog :
How do you Stay Sober? Just Keep Going!
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