I've been meaning to write (blog?) and I said I'd continue writing/blogging (that feels weird to say I'm blogging) and well, I just haven't but I thought I might share about the holidays.
Ah, what a time of year?! I have become less of a holiday fan since I discovered Santa was not real. That I'm pretty sure of. Drinking more became a great reason to celebrate but then that started to not be as fun. That was so gradual too that it was hard to discern if I was just depressed, hated winters, drank too much, or disliked the holidays or all of the above. As I got older, I just started to feel like the holidays were a time where everyone had more money than me to spend on their loved ones and I wasn't popular enough to get invited to Christmas parties. So I found it much easier to just starting hating the holidays. I'm the same with weddings. I went to 8 weddings in a summer once and after, I hated them. Hate is a very strong word. I don't hate much not even weddings or the holidays but I began to dislike them STRONGLY. Now that I'm sober and have a few months of the program under my belt, I must say this holiday season is proving to be less scary and much more approachable and unintentionally, positive. I've participated in several wacky concepts such as a Vestival, mine was a bit more conservative but this is a learning process! I had my first SOBER party, a holiday housewarming party (I'm a multi-tasker!)! My first attempt at hosting without booze and not really allowing booze. Kinda crazy. I realized I was racing around, wanting to say, "Now it's time for a cocktail!"so I could kick back but I never stopped. And all my friends didn't know each other so well, it must have been a hoot watching me spastically run around, play with the kiddies that came, offer people spiced nuts and cider who were trying to make awkward conversation. Oh well, everyone said they had a great time. Of course I think they are just being nice. But I realized for some that it might be a relief to go to a party with no booze even if you aren't in the program. Maybe you have a newborn or kids or just don't drink that much (they do exist and I think they were at my party!). It turned out well. I'm already planning my next sober event, My BIRTHDAY! To be celebrated ON my birthday, goddamnit!!! Yet another reason whyI dislike the holidays. Because on Dec 31st I'm balling my eyes out about getting older while other people are convincing me that this must be the best birthday because everyone is celebrating for ME! Let me assure you, they are not. And for a self-centered alcoholic, you want your own day. You want it to be all about you.
But actually, I've just finished the first part of my 4th Step and have emerged feeling lighter. I have a few events this week that I'm going to that involve alcohol and I feel prepared for them. In the past few weeks, I was feeling good enough to start going to parties where there was alcohol and will you looky-there! All of the sudden, I'm Miss Social Butterfly. Truly extraordinary. And I feel good. I'm not hiding or scared or blubbering with excuses. It's awesome. It's like I'm ready to be re-integrated.
Before I jump back onto my pink cloud, the reality is that I'm not done my 4th Step. I listed a bunch of my fears today on the ride to work which there seems to be a common thread of self-consciousness, fear of what people think about me, fear of making mistakes etc. While I feel that I'm playing things pretty safe, I haven't always done that but those fears were there then too and what motivated me to drink. The party is a perfect example. At one point, I thought to myself, "This is where I would begin to want to get drunk." I was exhausted by the end. Mostly because all I had was my spiced nuts and cider to relax me (those didn't really work). So I just more and more uptight that the music was okay, that people were talking to other people and then these moments of thinking, "We are all adults. Come on! I don't have to hold my friends' hands!" And then I would relax for a millisecond.
So I'm coming around on hating/ disliking strongly the holidays and finding it's much easier to just surrender to them. I rationalized a little saying that I had my holiday party (which I pulled off too without getting too stressed at least ahead of time) so if nothing happens between now and Jan. 1st and I'm socially disgraced, I still celebrated sobriety, my new home with the man I love in a place I love, great new friends and reconnecting with old ones. Afterall, isn't that what the holidays are all about?
ps Can I just say how warm and fuzzy my home felt after everyone left! It was awesome! So much love and coziness, beautiful new plants and tasty treats left in it's wake. Thank you.