Alcoholism and Holiday Celebrations

Posted by Teresa, Volunteer Mentor @hopeful33250, May 31, 2017

Hello @georgette12 @brit @Gray @gman007 @melsy @amberpep @gailb

As Memorial Day is now behind us, I was thinking about those of you who have discussed alcoholism. Some of you have discussed it as an issue you have dealt with personally and some of you have discussed the effects of alcoholism in your family. Whatever the source of the alcoholic behavior, I think we can all agree that holidays seem to be tough times for anyone dealing with addictions. Perhaps in the past, alcohol was a part of picnics and other holiday celebrations. It could be that the threat of alcoholic behavior created a feeling of dread of the holidays. Whatever your response might be, let’s discuss how we can approach the holidays “alcohol-free.” Many of you have probably developed certain plans to keep the holidays sober and peaceful. So if you are comfortable doing so, let’s share those ideas with each other. Teresa

This is a topic that is near and dear to my own heart, but for another reason.
As a liver transplant recipient, I avoid alcohol because of the risk involved of damage to my transplanted organ. Since my issue is not related to a tendency toward addiction, or family history, I am a little hesitant to jump in here.
Let me add that I admire anyone who is making an effort to deal with your situation on a daily basis. I have witnessed family member and friends who struggle with the same issues. And now, especially after my own transplant issue, I have become even more aware, painfully aware, of the way our society incorrectly presumes that every celebration or holiday gathering needs to include alcohol.
I send you my prayers for strength as you continue your journey to remain ‘alcohol free’. And I want you to know that my husband and I are the couple who celebrate our anniversaries and special occasions with an iced tea toast! And I will have the cooler of soft drinks at our town’s outdoor festival in a couple weeks, too.
Rosemary

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@rosemarya

This is a topic that is near and dear to my own heart, but for another reason.
As a liver transplant recipient, I avoid alcohol because of the risk involved of damage to my transplanted organ. Since my issue is not related to a tendency toward addiction, or family history, I am a little hesitant to jump in here.
Let me add that I admire anyone who is making an effort to deal with your situation on a daily basis. I have witnessed family member and friends who struggle with the same issues. And now, especially after my own transplant issue, I have become even more aware, painfully aware, of the way our society incorrectly presumes that every celebration or holiday gathering needs to include alcohol.
I send you my prayers for strength as you continue your journey to remain ‘alcohol free’. And I want you to know that my husband and I are the couple who celebrate our anniversaries and special occasions with an iced tea toast! And I will have the cooler of soft drinks at our town’s outdoor festival in a couple weeks, too.
Rosemary

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@rosemarya I am glad that you jumped into this conversation. Thanks for sharing the ways in which you and your husband keep your holidays alcohol-free.

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Since I was diagnosed with Acute and then chronic pancreatitis, alcohol has been a non-starter for me, but I was also determined that I was not going to be the “lecturer” on the bad decisions that can come with alcohol and later I had the same issue when I quit smoking. My abstinence is my decision and mine alone and does not represent the activity I expect from everyone else. I think some are a bit concerned about being a bad influence on me, but I try to nip that in the bud if I know they would prefer a cocktail or glass of wine. I am happy to tell people how I feel now that the alcohol is not a necessary part of my celebrations, meals, gatherings, etc…but again that is a decision made for myself and not one I am going to attempt to press on to anyone else.

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@gman007

Since I was diagnosed with Acute and then chronic pancreatitis, alcohol has been a non-starter for me, but I was also determined that I was not going to be the “lecturer” on the bad decisions that can come with alcohol and later I had the same issue when I quit smoking. My abstinence is my decision and mine alone and does not represent the activity I expect from everyone else. I think some are a bit concerned about being a bad influence on me, but I try to nip that in the bud if I know they would prefer a cocktail or glass of wine. I am happy to tell people how I feel now that the alcohol is not a necessary part of my celebrations, meals, gatherings, etc…but again that is a decision made for myself and not one I am going to attempt to press on to anyone else.

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@gman007, Thank you for sharing with us. I want to say that I admire your strength and your commitment to your health.
Rosemary

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@gman007

Since I was diagnosed with Acute and then chronic pancreatitis, alcohol has been a non-starter for me, but I was also determined that I was not going to be the “lecturer” on the bad decisions that can come with alcohol and later I had the same issue when I quit smoking. My abstinence is my decision and mine alone and does not represent the activity I expect from everyone else. I think some are a bit concerned about being a bad influence on me, but I try to nip that in the bud if I know they would prefer a cocktail or glass of wine. I am happy to tell people how I feel now that the alcohol is not a necessary part of my celebrations, meals, gatherings, etc…but again that is a decision made for myself and not one I am going to attempt to press on to anyone else.

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@gman007 Thanks for taking such a balanced approach to alcohol in your environment. Teresa

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Christmas, New Years Eve, and all holidays always bring a large sting to me. Instead of enjoying family and just being together, everyone sat around and just drank beer after beer until they were totally plastered. As I little kid, and an only child, I thought this was how everyone lived; I later found out that was not so. A lot of families spent the day together, enjoying being with each other, sharing gifts, and just appreciating what the real meaning of Christmas was. My “fondest” (not) memory was when I was about 8 ….. my mother never got up to get me breakfast …. that was up to my Dad and I. But on Christmas morning she did. I don’t know what happened, but she got furious at him and from one side of the dining room over to the other, she threw a plate of waffles at him covered with syrup. One of the waffles stuck, and very slowly slid down to the floor, with the plate falling and breaking. I can still see a picture of …. where we were sitting, what we all were wearing, and most of all ….. that waffle slowly sliding down the wall. Another Christmas, when I was a bit younger, my father got me a train set, which I loved … all sorts of houses, little people, cars, road signs, bridges …. I’d spend hours there. Well, I guess he didn’t like that I moved the items around so he glued them down. I was very sad, but not surprised. Only kids raised in that kind of home, learn to let things run off their backs (so they think), and just go on and find something else do do.
abby

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@amberpep

Christmas, New Years Eve, and all holidays always bring a large sting to me. Instead of enjoying family and just being together, everyone sat around and just drank beer after beer until they were totally plastered. As I little kid, and an only child, I thought this was how everyone lived; I later found out that was not so. A lot of families spent the day together, enjoying being with each other, sharing gifts, and just appreciating what the real meaning of Christmas was. My “fondest” (not) memory was when I was about 8 ….. my mother never got up to get me breakfast …. that was up to my Dad and I. But on Christmas morning she did. I don’t know what happened, but she got furious at him and from one side of the dining room over to the other, she threw a plate of waffles at him covered with syrup. One of the waffles stuck, and very slowly slid down to the floor, with the plate falling and breaking. I can still see a picture of …. where we were sitting, what we all were wearing, and most of all ….. that waffle slowly sliding down the wall. Another Christmas, when I was a bit younger, my father got me a train set, which I loved … all sorts of houses, little people, cars, road signs, bridges …. I’d spend hours there. Well, I guess he didn’t like that I moved the items around so he glued them down. I was very sad, but not surprised. Only kids raised in that kind of home, learn to let things run off their backs (so they think), and just go on and find something else do do.
abby

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@amberpep Thanks for sharing your memories of growing up with alcoholism, Abby. You really identified the dread that can occur with holidays that are marred with alcoholic behavior. I’m sure lots of folks in our mental health forum can attest to similar experiences and I appreciate your willingness to “lay it out on the table.” Teresa

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Athough, I have been sober 26 years I still get uncomfortable when I am around alcohol. I limit myself who I am around. First my family, which I share all the holidays with. There are three drinkers in my family. They do not get drunk. That is what helps me. I always mark my cup I am drinking out of,so no accidents happen. I think I would smell it though. I am usually the first to leave by choice. Kathy

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@klmz

Athough, I have been sober 26 years I still get uncomfortable when I am around alcohol. I limit myself who I am around. First my family, which I share all the holidays with. There are three drinkers in my family. They do not get drunk. That is what helps me. I always mark my cup I am drinking out of,so no accidents happen. I think I would smell it though. I am usually the first to leave by choice. Kathy

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Hi, @klmz – with this now being a holiday weekend with Labor Day, wondering how you are feeling about the family gathering where there will be some drinking alcohol?

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@klmz

Athough, I have been sober 26 years I still get uncomfortable when I am around alcohol. I limit myself who I am around. First my family, which I share all the holidays with. There are three drinkers in my family. They do not get drunk. That is what helps me. I always mark my cup I am drinking out of,so no accidents happen. I think I would smell it though. I am usually the first to leave by choice. Kathy

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@klmz Hello Kathy:

You have made some good plans for dealing with alcohol during the holidays and family gatherings. I'm wondering who else in this group has a plan for dealing with the presence of alcohol this weekend?

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@hopeful33250

@klmz Hello Kathy:

You have made some good plans for dealing with alcohol during the holidays and family gatherings. I'm wondering who else in this group has a plan for dealing with the presence of alcohol this weekend?

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I keep a non alcoholic beverage in my hands at all times….

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@moncrdeb

I keep a non alcoholic beverage in my hands at all times….

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@moncrdeb – how do you feel being around others who drink? Does it work okay for you when you have the non-alcoholic beverage?

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Hi All: I have been thinking about you all and wondering how your Labor Day weekend went. If you would care to share how you dealt with the temptations of alcohol, I would enjoy hearing from you.

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@lisalucier

@moncrdeb – how do you feel being around others who drink? Does it work okay for you when you have the non-alcoholic beverage?

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I stay away from the bar scene. Over time I have become more comfortable. I’m lucky in that my friends and family drink very little. I am experiencing the promises (from AA big book ).

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@moncrdeb That is good news! For those not familiar with the AA big book, could you briefly describe what it means to "experience the promises"?

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