The first time I was given a can of beer, I was 16 years old. I was at a party at the home of younger friend where everyone was drinking. I was seated on the stair steps as I took a few sips. I had only consumed half the can when I stood up.There was ringing in my ears and sounds were muffled. There was also a sensation of things around me seeming to fade as if I were going to black out. I had experience these same situation once before, at age 14. I was being injected with substances to find out what I was allergic to, when the ringing in the ears and sensation of blacking out came upon me.
“So, why aren’t you drinking again?” As if we’ve discussed it before. We have not.
Before we begin, a disclaimer: I am not a health blogger. I regularly eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, and I think Tortilla Chips with cheese on them is a completely acceptable meal to eat in bed. I will not ever be the person you come to for tips on the 5:2 diet, and I roll my eyes whenever I hear the phrase ‘gluten-free.’ I sometimes eat salad, I often eat cheese, and when my friends text me incessantly enough I go to spin classes and complain the entire time. I do not understand quinoa, and I will throw things at you if you call any food ‘super.’ Also, wine is joy.
I never thought I would be an advocate for AA, for recovery, for sobriety. Let’s be honest—I never thought sobriety, recovery, or AA would be in my life—especially not at 28—but here we are.
I never believed I would fall in love, or desire the presence of another, but I stand corrected.
If you or anyone close to you are dealing with an alcoholic then you most likely know what it means to hear "you can save them." No truer four words have ever been spoken.
I think that for the most part I have a pretty healthy relationship with alcohol. I grew up in a home where drinking meant a beer or two or a glass of wine here and there. My parents gave me small sips to try, and I couldn't stand the stuff.
The number of people who insist on driving after drinking is on the rise across the United States. Many drivers believe that they can get away with getting behind the wheel after a beer or two. However, driving under the influence comes with huge repercussions, perhaps larger than you can even fathom.
To start this off, I should let readers know that I don't really have anything against drinking alcohol and I have never had issues with substance abuse. I understand that there are many individuals out there that suffer from substance abuse, and this surely is not an article to comment on their experiences.
Some may mark this day early in the new year as the day that American society hit the tipping point to begin a long downward slog. They will see this day and the announcement that was made on it as just more evidence that we, as Americans, will just become fatter, lazier, and stupider in the years to come, glued to our screens and never needing to get up out of our easy chairs to do much of anything.
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.