Christmas is a time that is often packed with social events, from meals out to trips to the pub and everything in between. While there are often festivities aplenty, not all of us remember the events that unfold, or some of them we wish we could forget. For others, Christmas can magnify a sense of isolation, and alcohol can seem like the answer. Whichever it is, you can decide to have a sober Christmas this year, and make it one to remember for all the right reasons.
You might not think you have a problem with alcohol, let alone an addiction, but if you find yourself craving that first drink of the day, and you focus more on the drinks than the company, then that may be a sign that your relationship with alcohol is harmful. You can take our free alcohol use survey here, to find your risk level and get our recommendations for alcohol support.
Many people who are drinking too much alcohol still function to some degree. Most of the people we work with at Help Me Stop are in jobs, and they still play some part in family life. They often have a wide circle of friends and getting on as best they can with life, all whilst facing alcohol addiction.
When it comes to ‘functioning alcohol addiction’, we say this: it can be so much better and easier than that, if you ask for help. It’s all about your quality of life, how you feel mentally and physically, and the impact on your relationships, work, and enjoyment of everyday events. If you’re noticing that more and more you’re escaping the pressure by drinking, and there are negative consequences building up, then ask yourself if it’s worth it. Contact us in confidence about alcohol treatment, if you want help to stop.
It’s time to remember who you really are
If you wake up in the morning with hangxiety (hangover induced anxiety), or you blacked out and cannot remember a thing, then this Christmas may be the one you want to remember. Alcohol is sold to us as the only way to have fun, but that’s marketing spin. There are always consequences of drinking too much, and you don’t see those in the adverts – it’s all glamour! If you’ve decided that the harms of alcohol outweigh the upside, then here are some ideas to stop drinking this holiday season.
Think ahead about your social plans
First up, think about the kind of events you’re going to, and if you want to be going in the first place. Peer pressure seems to ramp up over the festive period, and situations like this are not ones you want yourself to be in. It is tempting to fill the diary and catch up with friends from old jobs and eras gone by, but ask yourself if you’re the same person now as you were then, and whether or not it is a space you want to put yourself in. Of course, there will be the meet ups and the friends that are supportive of your ‘low-or-no’ attitude. These are the kind of friendships and gatherings that you want to keep.
Another thing to think about is your drink of choice
Sometimes when we are in social situations, we can freeze or end up defaulting back to what was once our ‘normal’. Think about what you’re going to order ahead of time and stick to your guns with it. If anyone questions why you’re not drinking, you don’t have to engage. That kind of comment can feel very intrusive, but remember, it always says more about the person asking rather than you.
Don’t automatically assume the role of designated driver
Just because you’re sober for the season doesn’t mean you should take on the role of taking everyone home. If you want to, you can, but don’t put yourself in a position of ensuring the safety of your friends who may or may not be drinking or using. If you’re the one offering, drive away, but don’t be pressured into being the group taxi driver.
Lastly, enjoy yourself, your way
Whether it is a family day out, an after-work together, a party or a trip to a Christmas market, know that fun doesn’t and isn’t centred around alcohol. Being sober, seeing clearly, choosing the things you really love to do, with the people you actually like – that’s when we have the most fun! It might take some getting used to, and it might feel like a different or new kind of fun at first, but you will find the joy and the excitement in a sober Christmas. Decide to do things the way you really like them.
Help with alcohol
If you’re looking for help with alcohol, there is support available to you. Whether it is Christmas or any other occasion that has you worried about your alcohol intake, then it is best to seek help and speak to someone.
There are a number of different reasons why you may be considering support, from experiencing blackouts from alcohol, getting yourself into difficult situations or conversations, or maybe even acting totally out of character when you have had a drink, yet not being able to say no to just one more.
Everyone is different and many people are able to be high-functioning while dealing with alcohol addiction. Confidential support is available, no matter where you are in your journey.
About Help Me Stop
Our treatment programme centres around integrative psychotherapy, which blends a number of evidence-based therapies, including the 12 step approach to addiction treatment, person-centred therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, family therapy, art therapy, recovery workshops, mindfulness, and more. We work mainly in group sessions, and every client also has a one-to-one counselling session each week with their focal counsellor.
If you would like to find out more about how we can support you with alcohol addiction help, you can call us on 0208 191 9191 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.