Christmas, on the Rocks
A newly-sober navigation of the holiday season delivers pure spirit to a recovering alcoholic.
When I first wrote this Narratively Classic, I had been sober for about 60 days. Today, it's been over 12 years! I've been blown away by the response to this piece, including the emails I got from people who thought they might have a problem. Thank you for giving this a read—even if you're a "normal drinker," you'll find something to laugh at and relate to!
‘Twas the night before Christmas and I really, really wanted a freakin’ drink.
During Christmas dinners past, between courses, you could always find me ducking into my room to hide. I felt incredibly uncomfortable at the table, but I never drank in front of my family—my parents knew I had a problem. I usually held tight and counted the minutes before I could escape and meet up with my friends for a drink (or four). As loving as my family is, they have their moments—and the holidays seem to bring a lot more of them. Admittedly, most families are like this, which is why none of my friends punch the air and grin as they declare, “Yeah, I’m going home for Thanksgiving!” It’s usually more of a dejected sigh of resignation. Understandably, many of us either drink to get through it, or get through it to drink.
Last year, though, the holidays were different for me. At twenty-two years old, in November of 2011, I decided to get sober for good. The timing wasn’t necessarily intentional. In fact, the timing was horrible; a more-than challenging feat during that matrix of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and everyone’s favorite amateur hour—New Year’s Eve. The holidays are the time of year when the child in all of us feels the most temptation to overindulge in, well, just about everything.