Before I got pregnant, I thought that all of the "New Moms" in my circle were intentionally going out of their way to cut me out.
I feel like I have been talked out of my feelings my entire life.
Drink non-alcoholic drinks like an addict—also known as "Sugar Crushing". Juice, soda, more juice.
Avoid most parties. Get comfortable with feeling lonely and weird at home in your sweatpants.
Force yourself to go to a party, because you’re starting to feel sorry for yourself. Resist the urge to talk about your sweatpants and your cat.
Pull your "awkward happy face" when people look at you and ask you why you are so quiet.
Resist the urge to whisper "fuck you" quietly to yourself when they walk away. If you must, whisper it quietly. If needed, practice saying “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME” in the upstairs bathroom.
At family events, take MANY breaks in the kitchen pantry, and practice deep breathing to soothe the cutting remarks & comments from family members about your career choice and lack of children.
Resist the urge to steal and consume the shared box of red wine set up in the family dining room. If needed, take a long, deep sniff of your sister-in-laws glass of chardonnay.
Carb load like crazy. Breads, cookies, more breads.
Drink coffee until as late as 11 PM. Enjoy the sweet relief of having something you are addicted to flowing through your system.
Lie. Answer "cider" when everyone asks “WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?” It is non-alcoholic apple cider, with soda water, and ice cubes in a wine glass. Not lying, it’s cider.
Quiet the voice that is screaming at you that you are torturing yourself by doing laps around your parent's house. Never stop walking in and out of rooms.
Get used to being bored. Like REALLY bored.
When relatives start to slur their words and ask you inappropriate questions, go to the play room and strike up a conversation with your five year old nephew about "butts."
Realize and accept that 95 percent of the holiday "magic" you used to feel in past holidays came from the drinks you put to your lips. Accept the fact that the magical-bubbly-sparkly feeling that had been there every Christmas was primarily from a bottle. The magic that made the snow prettier, made the people more charming, made the financial worries more palpable, and made Christmas Eve mass go by faster. Let yourself feel sad about this.
Start planning today how you will "get through" and make the next Christmas season more fun and rewarding for yourself. Now that you've made it through your first sober holiday season, the worst is over! It will be much easier next year.
I sat on the phone with a friend; it’s 10 AM and we’re Face-timing with each other over our morning cups of coffee. She’s a hard-working, medical professional, currently living in a trend-setting major Canadian city, and I, a self-employed musician living in a seventy-five-year-old country home, in arguably one of the most rural parts of the East Coast of Canada. For just how starkly different our careers (and we) are from one another, we get along like eggs on toast.