People in America are giving thanks and sharing what they are grateful for today. Black Friday is tomorrow and it will kick off the Christmas season. The season of parties, socializing, and booze.
My first sober Christmas was stormy and fierce. I scheduled a check-in with my therapist to talk some of my thoughts out because around every snowy bend was a trigger that made my head spin. For reasons I cannot remember exactly, I pulled my car over while driving and I bawled my eyes out. For what I do remember, the entire Christmas season felt like torture. I couldn’t wait for it to be over with.
I chose not to attend a New Years Eve gathering at my best friend’s house with her family and a few others. I wanted a quiet night without any commotion or alcohol. I wanted to be alone in the serenity of my home with just my husband and daughter. We made homemade sushi and settled in for a quiet evening.
Last year was my second sober Christmas season and I do not recall any major obstacles that stood in my way. For a second year in a row, we stayed home on New Years Eve and made homemade sushi along with a gingerbread Millennium Falcon. I felt good and strong going into 2018 with clear goals of what I wanted to accomplish.
This will be my third sober Christmas and I am already feeling irked. I have zero desire to have a drink but I feel like I am a grizzly bear that is being poked with a stick.
Lately, my Instagram and Facebook news feed is littered with booze-filled festive decorations and gift ideas. My feed will only get more cluttered as the party season kicks into high gear. I am certain that these posts were on my news feed in previous years but I am now more aware of them.
I came across an article in a mommy group about Smirnoff Vodka Christmas ornaments and I made the mistake of clicking on it. Clicking on the link probably sent a message to Facebook telling them that I want to see more booze in my news feed.
I thought of Tell Better Stories: Challenging the Alcohol As a Lifestyle Narrative while looking at the colouful balls of booze. Tell Better Stories is a website with social media that examines and questions companies who encourage the consumption of alcohol though their advertisements, product, and lifestyle media.
The Mommy Wine Culture is one topic that Tell Better stories feels strongly about. They want people to make a conscious decision about their alcohol consumption and to ask themselves why they are having a drink in the first place. While the website was created by sober women, they are not prohibitionists. They simply want companies and people to see that alcohol consumption does not need to be part of a lifestyle. Anyone can engage in constructive conversations about the lifestyle messages of alcohol whether they are a drinker and ally or someone who is sober and in recovery.
I have since decided to “unfollow” a couple of mommy groups on Facebook after seeing the Smirnoff Vodka Christmas ornaments show up in my news feed. The “mommy needs a drink to unwind” narrative is not something I jive with.
I’m finding support in other online communities that better align with my values. The Temper which originated as Hip Sobriety has already started posting about the Christmas season. I’m clearly not the only person out there who is feeling challenged.
Just as I did during my first sober Christmas, I paid a visit to my therapist and I sense another Christmas-related visit coming soon. I feel like I need to unload before the hustle and bustle of the season hits. I’m feeling a little angry and pissed off going into Christmas and I recognize that this is not healthy.