I remember my first Christmas sober. I was trying so hard to make it special without booze. I told my sponsor I was planning a party at home. She advised against it but I was so enthusiastic and ambitious with my new found sobriety. I look back at that person with tender feelings. I didn’t know how to behave during festive celebration without a drink in my hand. I was overcompensating for the lack of alcohol my first sober holiday. I didn’t have the party by the way. The next year, around NYE, I began to feel so alien and unique. Everyone, everywhere, was drinking it seemed. I felt the burden of my abstinence to alcohol strongly. I went to a meeting I’d never gone to before hoping to get some relief from the battle I was having with myself.
But today, right now, I can truthfully say the holidays don’t intimidate me the way they did 3 years ago. I’ve seen that celebration occurs with or without alcohol, just as life happens with or without my drinking. I’m learning every day how to live my life sober. This includes holiday time. That “fear of missing out” thing maybe you are feeling due to sobriety, well it will fade. I’ve practiced being sober for 1,170 days and each 24 hours have only strengthened my reliance on a Higher Power. I’ve been so humbled by the sheer lack of control I have over my life. I’ve grown to know serenity only comes from release of control. I wish each of my sober friends the peace born of this letting-go. And all the joy to be had when gathered with friends and family without a need to numb ourselves from the moment.