Getting over major events and holidays where you previously drank heavily are always a bit tough while sober, especially the first few times.
The anxieties leading up to these events or holidays are the worst part, at least for me.
Finding out whether or not you can get through a New Years’ Eve without drinking, for example, is a big one.
Sure, for every New Years’ Eve from, say, 1983-2013, I would either work, get plastered, or some combination thereof.
That doesn’t mean I can’t do something else today.
That’s all I have to say to myself.
That, and, not drink.
I recently came across this article on NPR, by Sarah Hepola, which was pretty good.
She takes a while to get there, but I like her closing sentiments a lot:
But in time, I got used to this new world, and more accepting of myself. I still go to holiday parties, although I tend to arrive early and leave when everyone starts talking really loudly, but I don’t struggle with that sense of radioactive weirdness anymore. I feel at home in my body, and in the world, in a way I did not for many years.
So if you’re struggling to stay sober, hang in there. Because that feeling of comfort — of no longer being wracked by shame for who you are or what you did — is a gift the bottle can never give you. But it is a gift you can give yourself.
With only two years of New Years’ Sober Eves under my belt, I’m still working on it, but I feel like I’m getting there.
But, back to today, 12.31.2016.
The best things about New Years’ Eve are surrounding yourself with good friends and family, hanging out, talking, eating, and agreeing to work together towards a better next year.
We just have to try.