The holidays... December 14, 2020
Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I have been reading a lot about how to prepare for the holidays, as well as listening to many different types of podcasts. I am obviously knee dip in the holidays already and doing pretty well with it all, I think. I am proud of how I have been dealing with everything so far. There are just so many triggers around every corner. I think overall, I have navigated the last two weeks pretty well though. I knew when I started this journey 15 days ago, that it wasn't going to be easy, going into December and the Christmas/holiday season. I almost knew that was why the timing was so key for me though. Part of me was listening to Ursula who was trying to convince me to just get through New Years, and then I could tone it down and start to moderate. But then I realized that was never going to happen. Moderation was never in the cards. This was my time to stop for good.
I am glad I made this choice, even though the last two weeks have been hard. I thought there would be so many parts about Christmas that would make me want to drink every single day, but so far those feelings haven't made me succumb to the temptations like I thought they would. Yes - certain movies hit me hard in the pit of me stomach, Christmas lights and warm fires set the tone, but I am able to talk to myself, refocus my attention and keep my "eye on the prize," so to speak. I remind myself of the way I have been feeling each morning. I remember the the lack of hangovers, anxiety and guilt. And I focus on the overall positive mood that has taken over me, something that I don't think I have felt in years. So watching "Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation," listening to Neil Diamond's Christmas carols, sitting by the fire in the evenings, cooking dinner on a Saturday night with the Christmas tree lights on - while all these things might have caused me to want to drink in the past, they aren't exactly triggering me to do so like I worried they would.
On today's podcast by Recover Happy Hour, entitled 'Holiday Survival,' Trish was giving advice on how to be your best self and make it through the month of December. She suggested writing a list of ten things that you love about the holidays. If drinking is on the list, scratch it out and come up with something new. This list will give you things to focus on when your mind becomes triggered by those moments that make you crave alcohol and tempt you off your path of sobriety. I love this idea. I am feeling great these last two weeks, but I figured this is a healthy, positive exercise. Why not? Here is goes.
My Top Ten Favorite Things About The Holiday:
Decorating our house with Christmas decorations and setting up the tree/lights
Listening to Christmas music
Seeing Christmas through the eyes of the kids: all of their excitement, happiness as well as opening presents on Christmas morning
Baking Christmas sugar cookies
Watching Christmas movies with the family
Sitting by the fire and next to the Christmas tree
Driving around Needham looking at Christmas lights
Hannukah candles, opening gifts, making latkes
Making challah French toast on Christmas Day
Having Evan around all the time
These are a few things that come to mind that make me feel happy and safe. I will try to focus on these favorite things over the next few weeks, to keep myself feeling comfy and grounded.