Tis the season to be jolly…for most people, that is. However, for others, it can be a season of anxiety about staying sober during the holidays.
This will be my ninth holiday season without alcohol as the centerpiece, and I can attest, while it may seem scary at first, the holidays are SO much better sober and you CAN avoid drinking.
Let’s set the scene. You pull up and anxiously park as you talk to yourself about what to say when they offer you a drink. You muster up the courage to walk into the family or company get-together where you are immediately greeted by everyone, knowing one of the first questions will most likely pertain to alcohol. As you take your coat off and make your rounds, next comes the infamous question: “Can I get you a drink?”
It’s understandable to get antsy about this question during the holidays where drinking always seems to be heightened, but once you experience a sober holiday season, you will understand all the reasons why it’s better to be sober during the holidays. Here’s a list to help you on your holiday journey this year.
You don’t have to worry about saying or doing the wrong things at holiday parties
I used to request songs to DJ’s by hurling napkins with chicken scratch written on them. Thank goodness this type of humiliating behavior is something I can guarantee will not go down ever again. The beauty of being sober, especially at the holidays where exposure for ultimate embarrassment is on a high, is you don’t have to worry about doing things you will regret at the parties. Regretful holidays are a thing of the past and peace can truly be yours this season.
Getting a DUI isn’t something you have to worry about
An article published by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) states that the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are the most dangerous days for DUI’s and deaths related to drinking and driving.
“There’s a troubling trend of drunk driving fatalities in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Thursday, following what’s becoming known as ‘Blackout Wednesday.” MADD
I was an active participant in Blackout Wednesday, unfortunately. There were many times I drove home with one eye during Thanksgiving and Christmas. By staying sober this season, we can avoid putting ourselves, and others, in danger.
Remembering all your precious moments with family and friends is priceless
Gone are the days when you can’t remember anything. Being sober during the holidays affords you so many memorable moments that you now get to hold on to with a clear head and a full heart.
You save a ton of money
Your bank account is going to look even better this year because you’re not spending so much of your resources on liquor. This will free you up to give more to those you love and not feel guilty for spending all your gift money selfishly binging on alcohol.
This alone might be worth its weight in gold. This means you don’t have to miss out on fun things like decorating the Christmas tree, baking, cooking or doing early morning community service for those in need. You will be able to wake up and feel great every single morning.
You get an early start on the New Year’s resolution of being healthier and happier
So many people make resolutions to get sober or improve their health. Thankfully, you’ll already be ahead of this curve, which means you can focus your resolutions on reaching bigger goals for next year without having to worry about drinking getting in your way.
You become an example to others around you, and you never know who is watching
Even though some will question why you aren’t partaking in the drinking festivities, you’d be surprised how much people will respect you for it. Particularly during the holidays when you’re visiting with so many people, being an example for sobriety is honorable and will silently send messages to those who may need to hear it.
Your relationships grow stronger, and you avoid lots of drama
The holidays are a time of connection, love, and gratitude. When you’re sober, your bonds grow stronger with family and friends who have seen you at your worst. Not only that, but you’re less likely to get roped into any drama when you’re not intoxicated.
Sobriety is one of the things you can be proudest of and thankful for
Holidays are a time to count your blessings. Being sober gives you such a more meaningful experience because you know it is one of your greatest treasures.
You get to stay true to yourself and enjoy the holidays knowing that your presence is the greatest present
Getting through the holidays without drinking helps you to build your confidence, stay true to who you are and be a light for others. There is no greater present than this.
Wishing you and your family a Happy (and sober) Holiday season. xo
*The article was first published on The Recovery Village. Photo from GoodNews Notebook.