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

@moncrdeb

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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I'd also like to hear about the AA big book and the promises, @moncrdeb. I think others in this discussion might benefit, also. Will you explain what you mean by experiencing the promises?

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@lisalucier

I'd also like to hear about the AA big book and the promises, @moncrdeb. I think others in this discussion might benefit, also. Will you explain what you mean by experiencing the promises?

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The promises are listed on pages 83 and 84 of the Big Book. It begins with, :If we are painstaking about this stage of our development (recovery), we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We will come to know a new freedom and new happiness. We will experience serenity and peace (with life’s ups and downs). The promises will materialize if we work for them by helping others and connecting with our higher power. Read the AA Big Book. It is available at the public library😉

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hello! I am a non drinker and have been for many years, however I grew up as a child of both mom and dad being alcoholics. My husband and I are non drinkers. For the holidays we do fun things with our children like play games, listen to music…dance and watch classic movies. Unfortunately though it gets challenging sometimes with some family members who may drink alcohol, they may come around but won't stay long. Its sad at times but i have learned to live with some of the choices that people make.

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Hello @olivia22819,

I appreciated your comments about how you handle alcohol and the holiday seasons. It sounds as if you have made peace with your family history of alcoholism and made good choices for your own family!

Has your family ever challenged your non-alcohol lifestyle?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @olivia22819,

I appreciated your comments about how you handle alcohol and the holiday seasons. It sounds as if you have made peace with your family history of alcoholism and made good choices for your own family!

Has your family ever challenged your non-alcohol lifestyle?

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Yes, i don't keep alcohol in my home at all. One of the reasons is because I don't want for it to be tempting to my mom. I do have family that have attempted to go to the store and buy it for her. When I caught this and stopped it, she wasn't happy but I am clear with my discison. I grew up in an alcholic environment witnessing verbal and physical abuse, being homeless, displaced and missed a lot of education due to the lack of stability. I carried a lot of weight, along with my younger sister, so therefore I am very serious about no alcohol.

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@olivia22819

Yes, i don't keep alcohol in my home at all. One of the reasons is because I don't want for it to be tempting to my mom. I do have family that have attempted to go to the store and buy it for her. When I caught this and stopped it, she wasn't happy but I am clear with my discison. I grew up in an alcholic environment witnessing verbal and physical abuse, being homeless, displaced and missed a lot of education due to the lack of stability. I carried a lot of weight, along with my younger sister, so therefore I am very serious about no alcohol.

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Hi @olivia22819,

You have undoubtedly become quite strong in your resolve to live "alcohol-free." Did you invest time in support groups or other means in order to break the cycle of alcoholism for yourself and your family?

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@hopeful33250

Hi @olivia22819,

You have undoubtedly become quite strong in your resolve to live "alcohol-free." Did you invest time in support groups or other means in order to break the cycle of alcoholism for yourself and your family?

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Unfortunately I didn’t gain access to any support groups per se. With prayer and being around a number of non drinkers helps. Also I went through so much and I have seen my mom hit the step above rock bottom, I was just determined not to go the route that she did. My mom inspires me more than she knows even with her addiction.

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@olivia22819

Unfortunately I didn’t gain access to any support groups per se. With prayer and being around a number of non drinkers helps. Also I went through so much and I have seen my mom hit the step above rock bottom, I was just determined not to go the route that she did. My mom inspires me more than she knows even with her addiction.

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@olivia22819 That is great. It sounds like you turned a bad example into a different life.

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@hopeful33250

@olivia22819 That is great. It sounds like you turned a bad example into a different life.

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yes ma'am

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Hi – as the holidays approach this season, I'm recalling adults who hand out beers to parents of trick-or-treaters and also the alcohol associated with various events for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and other holy holidays.

Wondering what you would suggest to others who have dealt with alcoholism (personally or with a loved one) for strategies to deal with alcohol at these events @moncrdeb @klmz @johnwhitfield @luckonetj @mcmurf2 @Gray @brit @georgette12?

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@lisalucier

Hi – as the holidays approach this season, I'm recalling adults who hand out beers to parents of trick-or-treaters and also the alcohol associated with various events for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and other holy holidays.

Wondering what you would suggest to others who have dealt with alcoholism (personally or with a loved one) for strategies to deal with alcohol at these events @moncrdeb @klmz @johnwhitfield @luckonetj @mcmurf2 @Gray @brit @georgette12?

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I got sober in October of 1981 and dreaded the approaching holidays! On Halloween I thought everyone else in the world was drinking, and that drove me to my first AA meeting, when I'd already been dry for a couple weeks.
In my experience, "No, thank you" is usually all I need. People other than myself are just not paying very much attention to who's drinking what. If pressed, "I'm driving" or "I'm on medication" are enough, and if asked about what medication, "I'd rather not discuss it."
Giving beer to parents of trick or treaters sounds just bizarre. "I don't drink around the kids" is true enough, since you don't drink without them either.
Anyone who tries to pressure you after you politely declined alcohol has a problem with etiquette, alcohol, or both. Happy holidays!

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@trainwreck54

I got sober in October of 1981 and dreaded the approaching holidays! On Halloween I thought everyone else in the world was drinking, and that drove me to my first AA meeting, when I'd already been dry for a couple weeks.
In my experience, "No, thank you" is usually all I need. People other than myself are just not paying very much attention to who's drinking what. If pressed, "I'm driving" or "I'm on medication" are enough, and if asked about what medication, "I'd rather not discuss it."
Giving beer to parents of trick or treaters sounds just bizarre. "I don't drink around the kids" is true enough, since you don't drink without them either.
Anyone who tries to pressure you after you politely declined alcohol has a problem with etiquette, alcohol, or both. Happy holidays!

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Hi, @trainwreck54 – Yes, I've noted a growing trend with neighbors giving out beer to parents of trick or treaters on Halloween as we've been out with our kids in the past few years. I think it's an attempt to make it inclusive and fun for the parents. Seems to make it a popular stop, I've noted.

You've offered some great tips and advice for situations where others are drinking.

Over the years since you got sober, have you found holidays more challenging related to alcohol, or other situations?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @trainwreck54 – Yes, I've noted a growing trend with neighbors giving out beer to parents of trick or treaters on Halloween as we've been out with our kids in the past few years. I think it's an attempt to make it inclusive and fun for the parents. Seems to make it a popular stop, I've noted.

You've offered some great tips and advice for situations where others are drinking.

Over the years since you got sober, have you found holidays more challenging related to alcohol, or other situations?

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Yes I find the Holidays extremely difficult!!! As I watch others without a drinking problem, I often feel anxious , punished that I can’t enjoy a few festive drinks without heading back down that dark path. Then I feed the idea I can have just one. Anxiety builds and I become angry .
Nancy

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@nanners012910

Yes I find the Holidays extremely difficult!!! As I watch others without a drinking problem, I often feel anxious , punished that I can’t enjoy a few festive drinks without heading back down that dark path. Then I feed the idea I can have just one. Anxiety builds and I become angry .
Nancy

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@nanners012910 Hello Nancy,

I really appreciate your honest expression of how you feel when you avoid alcohol in social situations. When you say, "Anxiety builds and I become angry" I wonder if you have any tools or thoughts of dealing with that anxiety/anger. For example, have you tried some deep breathing or remembering what life was like when you were, as you said, "heading back down that dark path." Will you post again?

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I will post again, I also have major social anxiety depression, issues. I have been prescribed controlled medication I.e. Xanax and kluonpin. Whim in and of itself can become an issue for an addiction person. I do practice deep breathing also walking fast. I was a functioning alcoholic for many years. Hit rock bottom that affected my home and personal relationships and trouble with employer. I think the best advise is not to go to a function if you’re not in a good place w your sobriety. I struggle daily to this day. Both sets of my grandparents were alcoholic as well as my father. I took my first drink when I was 12. Am 54 now.

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