When I was still drinking alcohol and January rolled around, I’d get really depressed.  The holidays being over meant that people were going back to their normal lives, no more parties, no more days off, no more excuses to drink all day. Not that I needed an excuse to drink, but the fact that other people were letting loose over the Holidays was a great way for me to be ‘inebriated incognito’.

Though flying under the radar didn’t last long, soon people noticed that while they might have a few drinks at the office party or with the Holiday dinner, I often looked like a possessed baby calf, with bloodshot eyes and legs splayed awkwardly in opposite directions trying to find a foot hold. I’d spend the time stumbling around spouting funny one liners (or so I thought) only to be told the next day that I really should call so-and-so to apologize.

The truth is I know I’ve managed to ruin quite a few Holiday get-togethers.  Sometimes, not even making it to the party at all, deciding instead to have a drink while getting ready. Somewhere along the line, the bottle would end up in the bathroom with me and I’d pass out on the floor with my husband banging on the door.  Although being a no-show was often better than ruining the entire evening for people which is what happened one New Years. After renting a condo in the mountains and having friends drive all the way up from Denver to bring in the New Year, I managed to piss off  my closest friends to a point where they turned around and drove all the way back to Denver that same night. Of course, my response was what the hell was their problem?

In fact, the first time a friend actually said to me that they thought I had a drinking problem was after that New Year’s Eve. This was the first time someone had said this – to my face anyway – and I acted as though I was mortally wounded.  How dare she say such a thing? What a bitch she was! I’d have to get her out of my life, I certainly didn’t need that kind of negativity. So I avoided her and coincidentally people started avoiding me.  As my alcoholism progressed, it wasn’t long before I didn’t get invited out anymore, or I had no inclination to go out anyway. The husband left, the friends stopped calling and at the time that was just fine with me, they all got in the way of drinking anyway.

Unfortunately, it would be many more wasted years before I was able to admit to myself that I did have a drinking problem and I wanted to stop. And if you find yourself in a place where you want to stop drinking, this is as good a time as any to get sober. Sure, people who over indulged during the Holidays will make it their New Year resolution to cut down and if they are normal drinkers they will succeed. But if you are like me, and have tried every trick in the book to control your drinking, there is no going back.

And if you can’t go back, don’t stay stuck – try going forward. A good way to do that is to find a recovery meeting and get your ass there. And if you have ideas surrounding A.A. like I did, such as it’s full of fucked up people, who are full of fucked up ideas, it might help to keep in mind the New Year saying, “Out With The Old and In With The New’ – it just might change your life. Happy New Year.

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Comments
  1. mike says:

    thanks for the post.
    I can certainly relate to teh feeling of not wanting to go back to AA because of the messed up people…but then again, I wasn’t the token child of sanity. So, once I worked through that…I was good to go. Took me a while though.

    Years ago, when I drank, I thought the holidays were great because when everyone else was drunk (I used to call them amatures) I’d feel they were rather normal no…just like me.

  2. Chaz says:

    Hey Georgia…. great to see you back in the blogging world.

    I relate to virtually all of what you say. I don’t miss the indecision of how much or when to drink at Christmas or New Years. Because at the end, it always ended the same way…. too much and at the wrong time.

    It is a pretty repetitious story for us all isnt it. The writing is clear on the wall. It just doesnt work for a lot of us does. That simple.

    I am turning a corner this month and launching a new blog. Old one is still there, but I am refocusing and moving forward.

    Will pop by again.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  3. Andrea says:

    Thank you for your post and for your blog.

    Early recovery is certainly a trip. I have been sober over 21 months and that first year was just a sequence of old but new experiences. Certainly much changed in my life upon getting sober–friends, hang outs, activities, conversations, habits, sleep–but there were a number of things that seemed to stay the same (although they were completely different without the booze, if that makes sense!).

    That first sober holiday season was… interesting. I am grateful and fortunate to have an extremely supportive (and partially sober) family and so there was no alcohol to be found. At the same time, I felt slightly ill at ease, anxious, worried. It was hard for me to imagine having “fun” without alcohol before recovery. I told a sober relative this about 2 days before entering treatment and he replied, “Andrea, when was the last time you really had ‘fun’ anyway.” I totally get it now.

    I have recently begun blogging about my recovery myself. My site is called “Gratitude Girl: Chronicles of a Neurotic Alcoholic in Recovery” and can be found at http://www.gratefulinrecovery.com. I look forward to reading your site and hope you will check out mine!

    Many thanks! Peace.

    Andrea

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