For PR expert Odette Barry it has been seven years since she last drank alcohol. And for her, life has never been better. Here are the eight steps that got her there, and that helped her through seven sober Christmases. Because, yes it is possible to be sober during the silly season.
As someone who doesn’t drink (anymore), I know that Christmas can be one of the most difficult times of the year to navigate.
Through gritted teeth, we prepare meals in a kitchen full of heightened emotions. There’s the onslaught of work parties, barbecues with friends, and then the big day with the family.
Almost every party is anchored around popping corks. You’re catching up with people you only see once a year. And despite our best efforts, every family can have its tense moments.
Somehow, it’s been seven years of sober silly seasons (how’s that for a bit of alliteration!) and survived to tell the tale.
Ditching the drink always starts with a choice. Whether you’re on a health kick, pregnant or you’ve decided to quit for good like I did. And you don’t necessarily need AA’s 12 steps to follow through with it. Having navigated this path myself, I realised that I created eight of my own steps to quit alcohol. And it’s well and truly stuck.
But there’s one thing that’s still hard to navigate in social settings: the conversations and assumptions about why I’m not drinking. The silly season is social by nature. These eight strategies will help you manage your own feelings (and other people’s) so you can stick to your goal with a smile on your face.
There are lots of forms of structured support out there, apart from AA. Take a look at Hello Sunday Morning’s Daybreak app or try Annie Grace’s Alcohol Experiment, a 30-day supportive challenge to go without booze. Both are free. If you have a trusted friend, tell them your goals and ask them to help to hold you accountable. There’s always support out there, believe me.