Booze at Christmas

I am a Bah Humbug / miserable git when it comes to Christmas, probably for many reasons not least of which the fact that it starts in October!!! Unfortunately I don’t believe in God, I don’t even like to type or say the “G” word, in fact when I did go to AA I wouldn’t say the “G” word at the start of the serenity prayer: –

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Even the fact that it is called the Serenity “Prayer” bothers me a little bit, but nearly 11 years on from leaving the booze clinic I carry a coin with it on in my wallet. On one side it has the Serenity “thing” and the other side a butterfly with the words “Keep It Simple”, sounds daft but just looking at it gives me strength to stay off the booze. Of course being an alcoholic with mental health issues is never going to be “simple” but for me the answers are simple: –

Alcoholic = Avoid Booze

Mental Health = Ask for help and talk about it

I wish I could of done both of the above sooner than I did, but I can’t change that now I can change what I do moving forward and I have the wisdom to know the difference……

So, to the title of this post “Booze at Christmas” every year I can guarantee I will be asked the question “you will have a drink with your Christmas lunch wont you?” erm……nope! I also often get “if you haven’t had a drink for years surely that means you can control it now” erm……nope! Here’s the thing, there is a possibility that I could have one drink, there is the possibility that I could now drink like a gentleman but that’s a hell of a risk to take with my life and the lives of my family and friends. I was speaking with a guy the other day who has been soba for a couple of months and he was looking forward to his drink with Christmas lunch, I did say “I don’t think that is a good idea” but it’s not up to me and who knows he might be fine, but I am convinced I wouldn’t be. You won’t be surprised to hear that as an alcoholic I LOVE BOOZE, i’m not keen on the after effects of booze which is why I constantly had to top up the levels and if I had a drink I am sure I would only remember the good stuff and very soon it would be carnage.

“I have another drink in me, but I don’t have another recovery in me”

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable”

My guess is I will be getting the question about a drink with Christmas lunch on a fairly regular basis now, that’s cool it’s funny, sometimes you have to laugh at yourself. I am fortunate to have a bunch of mates that were merciless when it came to taking the piss…. one of my favorite comments I received after getting soba was “get Mans a pint of cider it will be entertaining” I still use this comment now :).

If you have a problem with booze, do something about it. Stopping drinking wont fix your life, it won’t be easy and at times it will be FU**ING Horrendous but it will be one of the best things you ever do, for you, for your family and for your friends. Being an active alcoholic is a selfish game of manipulation and lies, getting soba is also very selfish for a while, maybe for ever, getting soba will be the only important thing in your life, but  that is what booze is, well it was for me, nothing mattered more than booze, NOTHING!!

If you have any questions about getting off the booze drop me a message on here, Twitter or Facebook, i’m not an expert but I have a little experience in this area!! Do bear in mind though I am an alcoholic, I wont be able to be your crutch i’m too selfish for that and if you get on my nerves I will tell you.

Have a bostin Christmas……… Bah Hum Bug!!!!

Keep Smiling πŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Booze at Christmas”

  1. Ò€œget Mans a pint of cider it will be entertainingÒ€ laughed out loud to this. I know it’s a serious topic, but like you, I can do comedy and seriousness at the time πŸ™‚

    I’ve gone periods of staying off the booze (more on this later) and although I totally respect my own issues with booze are completely different to yours (both in their nature and their consequences?), some of the principles relating to the way people deal with a “non-drinker” are the same and we have experienced similar responses, as would everyone trying to cut down or eliminate booze from their life.

    Generally speaking I tend to stick within reasonable limits for alcohol consumption (although “reasonable” is the not the same for everyone. You for example). Your reasonable is literally zero I’m assuming. For me, even if I am going through a period of drinking 5 or 6 days out of 7, I’m such a lightweight I would usually not go above the weekly recommended amount of units. Sometimes I would (especially if 75% bottles of red wine are getting downed), but not every week. My relationship with alcohol is that when I am drinking it stops other things from happening. I’ll have 75% a bottle of wine perhaps in an evening at home on my own, watching a movie. Relaxing? Chilling out some may say? Yeh, but the problem is, there were maybe two or three other things that needed doing that evening. The bedding needed doing, I told myself I’d go down Morrison’s to get some groceries or maybe tonight was the night I was going to start doing press-up’s again!!!!

    None of those other things would happen if I were to drink. That’s okay if it was just one night, but I’d end up enjoying the Merlot & Movie combo so much I’d want to do the same the next evening after work, and the evening after that. Before you know it, I’m doing less physical exercise in the early evening, less supermarket shopping gets done (and I’m losing money by buying at local corner shops) and my flat chores are piling up! This in turn get’s me tense and sometimes stressed, and thus a vicious cycle can develop of needing to “chill out” after work and “relax” into the evening!

    I’m getting off track here, but the main point I wanted to make, is when I come off booze altogether some other people (they don’t mean to annoy me!) can be really irritating (or I FEEL irritated… need to take ownership of my own reaction here), that “Mans does NOT want a f****** drink tonight”. “Mans” is perfectly happy to go without tonight!!!! This is especially true at Christmas as you will know. Three years ago I think it was, I went 100 days without booze. Not because it was causing me “major” problems, but because I wanted to show myself I can NOT drink and I wanted to see the impact not drinking would have on me. Among other things, wanted to lose weight and reduce spending. These 100 days covered a whole X-Mas and New Year period. I achieved a lot in those 100 days.

    I enjoyed the one X-Mas party I went to that year but only after people eventually shut-up about me not drinking. I tried to laugh it off at first but then I think I got short with someone and eventually they stopped bugging me. It was a good night after that. But I tell you, that night, you’d have thought I was REFUSING TO TAKE IN OXYGEN, that’s how baffled people were (or they seemed baffled to me anyways) and how determined and committed some people were in getting me to take a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. You’d have thought I was sitting there NOT BREATHING and people wanted me to breathe! “Look everyone, we got someone here not breathing, someone help this man, give him a breath for Christ’s sake, help him”. “We got a man down, we got a man down”, “Houston we have a problem”.

    I was even having wine poured into my glass that I had just finished my lemonade out of! All well meaning and done with jokes and smiles, but half of me was okay with the banter and half of me felt disrespected (again, I take responsibility for my emotions, feeling disrespected, that’s on me).

    I’ve tried the route of having a drink once, maybe twice a week, but I now feel the time again has come to have a proper run of no alcohol (for physical health and finance reasons) but also for my psychological wellbeing as I want to introduce a bit more discipline into my life and some boundaries I can stick to. I’m also desperately trying to support and encourage both parents to give up smoking as it’s killing them (well one of them for sure). My point here, is that I want to show myself I can practice what I preach and “give something up”. I admit it won’t be forever, but I’d like to give up at least one thing going into the New Year, even if temporarily. Take away a “crutch” I rely on. Battle through it, overcome urge and temptation. DISCLAIMER – not saying giving up casual drinking for a month is the same as giving up a life-time smoking habit!

    And Jon, guess what I heard on the radio the other day! it was advert relating to this…. I’m up for it πŸ™‚

    http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/find-an-event/charity-challenges/dryathlon

    Yeh I’ve got my own agenda and motivations for this, but if I can raise money for a good cause, then why not?

    Alex

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