I was reading an article today about Christmas and people’s views around the holiday drinking season. It made me think about my own journey of becoming an alcohol-free last New Year’s Eve.
In years gone by, the thought of Christmas and alcohol mixed excitement and fear for me too I was excited about all the parties, the socializing, the new clothes, hair, make up. And then the niggling fear. Fear of what if I drink too much? What will I say this time? Will I get home OK? Will there be the trouble? There’s little else worse than waking up the morning after the night before and feel the pit of your stomach drop as you try to decipher what you said and who you said it to, and if you still have a job after the work Christmas do!
This time last year I was drinking. I wasn’t too worried about Christmas parties because I did most of my drinking at home during the last couple of years. I didn’t drink to excess (following government guidelines) but I felt terrible after a couple of glasses of wine. I still woke at 3 am with the anxious ball in my stomach, even though I knew I didn’t do anything wrong. But it was a stress reliever, right?
Alcohol is a DEPRESSANT. What goes up (the initial feel-good hit) Must come down (usually for me, at 3 am). It was a
vicious cycle that I couldn’t find the exit door from because I didn’t know I was on it. I knew alcohol didn’t make me feel good but I thought I was naturally anxious anyway and it wasn’t the core problem. I was wrong. Do you question your relationship with alcohol at all? Do you ever feel like this?
This year I have all the Christmas feels. I am excited but without the fear! I can’t wait to party over the season and remember everything. To have great conversation and remember people’s names and what we spoke about. I can’t wait to be present all of Christmas day with my children and not feel anxious or wish the hours away so I can drink in peace. No anxiety. No fear. Just peace. Freedom and peace.