One of the women in my online community asked for help to get through Drunksgiving without drinking. How could she celebrate the holiday alcohol-free, on a night when it seemed that EVERYONE in her community would not only be drinking but be celebrating getting drunk?
When did Drunksgiving become an official, unofficial holiday?
When did it become cool to celebrate the beginning of the school year by bragging about drinking wine in your PJs all day ?
When did we become an adult culture who bullies each other to feel like we HAVE to drink to fit in?
It’s been reported often over the past few years in the New York Times and the Washington Post, in USA Today and many other news outlets, that early deaths from alcohol abuse are at record levels and on the rise. The biggest increase in fatalities are among women. The statistics are depressing but not surprising in a culture where wine and alcohol, in general, are sold as the panacea to the stress of modern life. Alcohol is killing more people, and younger. The biggest increases are among women,
I’ve been reading articles like the one linked above since I stopped drinking almost five years ago. In early sobriety, I actually expected other people to see the same articles and maybe fight back, begin to break the status quo, or at least question the alcohol industry gleefully touting wine as healthy. But sadly, the articles that tell you wine will help you lose weight and fend off heart disease still get a lot more Facebook shares than those saying people, especially women, are dying in record numbers.
When I stopped drinking, I had no idea where to look for help. I knew that I needed to stop drinking but I also knew that I needed an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous. I needed a community focused on celebrating alcohol-free living. I needed accountability, resources, and support and I needed it to come to me. Attending AA meetings seemed an impossible addition to my already full schedule but luckily, in this world where alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for NOT using, a world where Drunksgiving and Mommy’s Morning Wine Time are celebrated, there is a huge, supportive and diverse online community of people encouraging each other to Rethink the Drink. On private sites and public platforms, from Facebook to Twitter to Reddit to Instagram, people are reaching out with a fresh perspective on staying sober.
If you are afraid that you might become a statistic, if you want support to learn how to celebrate life alcohol-free, REACH OUT! We’re here.
Five years ago when I was 49, I was tired and fed up—and dull.
I was dragging around a bottle of wine like a ball and chain that I thought I NEEDED, DESERVED, and had EARNED. Celebrating alcohol-free at an event like Drunksgiving would have felt impossible to me. It took some time to adjust to ending a day without a bottle or two of wine. But at almost five years sober, I am vibrant and free and I am never turning back!
With so many diverse voices online today, no one has to feel alone or misunderstood in their choice to celebrate alcohol-free during the drunking season. I feel empowered, happy, peaceful and free and so can you!
Thank you to all who have joined me on the road. For leading the way and walking beside me. For letting me turn and reach back to you. Sobriety truly does deliver everything that alcohol falsely promised—and so much more.
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