The holidays are a time many people spend relaxing, giving to others, and attending family get-togethers. While not everyone overindulges during the holidays, people have a tendency to increase the amount of alcohol they are buying and consuming. Many who battle with addiction, struggle more during these times, especially when presented with the opportunity to relapse or drink to excess.
When I was growing up, on Christmas and New Year's my parents and family would have liquor, champagne, wine, and beer for people to drink when they came over. They’d buy cases in order to have enough for everyone. It became normal, for any celebration or holiday, that alcohol would be present and drank in excess.
At a young age, I believed I needed alcohol in order to have fun, celebrate, party, or be around my family. Later in life, I got to where I had to have alcohol in order to show up to family events. I’d negotiate with my dad by telling him if he wanted me to go, I would be allowed to drink as much as I wanted. With this behavior, I ruined many family holidays and ruined my sobriety.
Last Christmas, all I could think about was getting a drink in order to feel normal. My family all had drinks. I believed one drink couldn’t hurt me. I ended up taking a bottle for myself, knowing my parents wouldn’t notice, and the next thing I knew, I was onto my second bottle. From there, I went back on a downward spiral. I tried telling myself I could control it. I told myself if I only drank once a week, I’d be okay. I then slowly started increasing to where I was drinking every night. I quit my job and started drinking 24/7. My few months of sobriety went out the window on Christmas night when I thought one drink couldn’t hurt me.
Having alcohol in front of us is one of the easiest things for us to succumb to. With alcohol being so socially accepted, I have struggled to tell others I can’t drink. People think it’s not a big deal and one drink won’t hurt. The truth of the matter is that one drink can hurt. Having it in excess makes it hard for us to not want one drink. The odds of someone noticing as we drink far more than one are slim and the next thing we know we become roped back into our old ways.
The holidays can be fun, but they can also be stressful. People tend to overdo it during the holidays in order to feel some sense of relaxation. The temptation of having booze around can cause people to have a lapse in judgment and relapse, especially those of us who are recently sober. The first holiday can be rough. For a long time, we as alcoholics have gotten through the holidays with our addiction by our side. We now have to learn to deal with the pressures of the holidays without our crutch to lean on. Narconon gives you the tools to handle anything life throws at you, even the stress of the holidays.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out for help. Don’t let another holiday pass you by when you are still struggling. Narconon helps you get through all of your trauma and problems so you can get back to your old self and learn to enjoy the holidays without needing or thinking about a drink.
—Guest Writer Alina Snowden