199 Days

This is a holiday vent. If you’d rather not listen to Sober & Awkward Girl bitch about her first holiday season during recovery, then feel free to skip this post.

If you’ve been following me at all, you’ll know that I am currently completing Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP) for alcohol dependence. This has pretty much been my entire life since mid-October. That and work, of course. It’s not been easy, but I am so glad that I am doing this. My counselor has taught me so much, and despite how much I bitch about my lack of a life these days, I’m going to miss her when I am done next week.

My boyfriend has also had a session with my counselor, and we met with her together last week. We’ve been together for almost nine years. The past four-plus years have not been so great, but we’ve both hung in there. Well, not really. He put up a giant wall around himself as I spiraled out of control. My thinking was, this relationship is driving me to drink! So is work and grad school and blah blah blah. But I now know that my drinking did a lot of damage to us. Our bad communication skills also contributed to the damage.

So yeah. Life has been sucky, but now I am doing what I can to get well so I can piece things back together. I’ve been nervous about the holidays, but I am confident that I will get through them just fine. However, my counselor does not want me at any family functions where booze will be served during the holidays. My boyfriend also thinks this is a good idea. And I am…I don’t know…kind of pissed about the whole situation.

All of a sudden, I am not going to attend Thanksgiving dinner on his side of the family (which I’m fine with, his uncle seems to take great joy at pouring as much wine down my gullet as is possible). He’s planning on bringing dinner home to me, but still…is this really necessary? I can deal with Thanksgiving, but I love Christmas Eve and Christmas at my Mom’s house. And now I’ve got my boyfriend and my counselor telling me I can’t go this year. What am I going to do? Freak out and start guzzling everyone’s drinks? I’ve been to at least three family functions where wine has been served since I stopped drinking six months ago. I handled it just fine, thank you.

I guess this isn’t a rant, but maybe more of a pity party. I’ve had a rough year, I almost freaking died, I’ve had to make some major decisions and life changes. Can’t I just enjoy Christmas with my family? Being at home will be depressing, and we all know that being depressed and/or lonely is a big relapse trigger. Sigh. Any thoughts from my sober friends out there?

6 thoughts on “199 Days

  1. Y’know, I understand removing oneself from triggering situations. The Thanksgiving one sounds like you might not have a full support network on his side of the family (?), but I really don’t get the Christmas deal. It seems like having back-up plans (A, B, C, D, as many as you need) would be better and allow you to have time with family than isolating you. What do YOU feel like you can handle, and can you have support to build that infrastructure around you? Also, Tired of Thinking About Drinking just posted about Thanksgiving and I think it’s transferable to Christmas events: http://tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/how-to-cope-with-thanksgiving-reach-out-before-you-feel-too-crazy/.

  2. I think it’s important to do what you feel able to do – and only you know that, not your boyfriend or counsellor. While it’s good to avoid certain trigger situations I agree with you that the feeling of “missing out” is just as dangerous. Christmas on your own sounds like a recipe for disaster. If you love Christmas at your mum’s house then go for it. She will be supporting you anyway, won’t she? Like you say, it’s not as if it’s your first family function since you stopped drinking. Hope you figure something out!

  3. SoberJournalist pointed me this way. I love your writing so far.
    As I told her, being forced to go to a Christmas party was the best thing that ever happened to me.


    I refuse to let alcohol make one more decision for me. Drinking ruined enough relationships. I’m not going to let sobriety ruin them, too!

    I know you’ll get through it, I hope you do it with a smile! Keep writing. We all get strength from it.

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