I went to the pub this week! Twice! And it was totally fine. Both time I guzzled a couple of lemon, lime and bitters and nattered with girlfriends. Fairly new girlfriends - some of whom didn't know about my not drinking - but not a single word was said and it really was irrelevant that I didn't have alcohol in my glass.
It's the silly season and everyone all around my fair country is gearing up for a boozy Christmas and New Years. Except for all the fabulous sober warriors of course…!
This is my third sober silly season and so far I've had only one teeny weeny pang (today when someone mentioned they were having a boozy boxing day lunch and suddenly a tiny woe-is-me thought passed through my mind. I batted it away quick smart).
Last year I did have quite a few sad pangs.. and the year before I was brand spanking shiny new at being sober so it was all weird and different. I kept retreating into the bedroom to read blogs.
One of the best bits of advice I've ever heard regarding holidays and how to cope being sober around family and drinking came from Mr SponsorPants. He says "Remember, other people find the holidays difficult and emotionally charged as well -- you're not the only one having a tough time of it -- watch for ego and hyper-sensitivity, and rather than sit in your own upset, see who and how you can help wherever you may be or whomever you may be with." You can read his whole Holiday Survival Guide here. It's ace.
This advice really works for me because that's the truth of it of course. Everyone comes together at Christmas time and brings their own exhaustion from their own busy year and their own personal stresses and strains and everyone thinks their stresses and strains are the worst stresses and strains (which of course they are to them) and … well I just find it helpful to imagine everyone else dealing with shit and then my own shit doesn't seem so insurmountable.
And remember.. push your thoughts through the evening and imagine going to bed sober. Imagine waking up fresh with no hangover and sick guts or guilt. Those are the beautiful things worth staying sober for. That and the healthy dose of self-respect you'll have after the silly season is over.
I am just so freaking exhausted and ready to stop the treadmill and get off for a bit. Kids are tired. Mr D is tired. The birds outside in the trees are tired too. (I wish the bloody neighbours were tired and not having a party tonight but oh well).
Off to bed. Bye for now all you lovely people.
Love, Mrs D xxx