Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Then, Then, Then and Now: Holiday Update

I've finally relaxed into my holiday and have gotten over my stupid desire for a glass of wine. Here I have recapped how my holiday-ing has changed in the last 2 years.
THEN (Way back then)
Holidays were an excuse to drink more than usual every night, start earlier, have an afternoon beer instead of ice cream and it was excusable being drunk; after all I was on holiday. There would be tears, emotion, good chats and great chats but the common factor was that I would be drunk, drinking, hungover or deciding it must by 5pm somewhere in the world.
On day 3 of AF I went on an all inclusive holiday. I was terrified: nervous I wouldn't be able to avoid drinking and worried that if I started I wouldn't be able to stop. Luckily at the time failure really was not an option; I could not bear to envisage what might happen if I didn't stop then and fear kept me sober.
I used 2 strategies to get through that holiday, both re-framing my usual thoughts. Firstly when I decided each night that I would have a soft drink, I promised myself it was just for tonight and tomorrow night, if I really wanted a drink, then I could choose to do so. If being sober on holiday was so awful I would not continue doing it. But I would try it. What did I have to lose? I gave it a go.
Secondly the Soberista counsel suggested I would be mad to spoil a luxury holiday with booze. Why not see it as time out of life, to pamper and indulge myself from outside and within? So I did this too. I thought I'll do it for this holiday and if it's rubbish, I'll go back to drinking next year.
At 6 months AF I was in a self catering apartment in Majorca. This holiday had been earmarked well in advance for drinking on if I really wanted to. Drinking was to be my reward for 6 months AF, partly because I could not imagine my usual routines minus G and T while getting ready after a day in the sun; minus wine with dinner and missing out on an opportunity to have lots and lots. But when it actually came, I decided No. This AF business is going okay, I'm going to do it a little longer and I am going to see what this holiday is like without alcohol too. (and if it's rubbish I will go back to drinking next year. See the pattern?) I had a great holiday and was really pleased I had chosen to remain AF, rather than being forced to be so, with no alternative option, as I had felt last time.
At 16 months sober I am so enjoying my holiday, unblemished by alcohol. My early morning coastal walks are not spoiled by a headache and nausea, my sunbathing likewise, my diet is not be sabotaged by carb attacks on the ice cream freezer. I am enjoying my books and can remember where I left off the day before and what was going on! At night I am not agitated to leave the apartment, desperate to get to a restaurant and willing the waiter to come swiftly. I am not suffering that irritating hiatus between finishing my g and t in the apartment and wondering when and where the next drink will come from.
I am now, going with the flow enjoying the slower pace of life. No hurry to get a drink. No alternatives motives and agendas influencing the family options. 
Just me, just being me.
What a relief!

1 comment :

  1. The chapter in your book about holidaying was such a great example of how suffocating alcohol can be - I'm glad you are able to enjoy holidays without now. Goes to show, holidays are much more than being entrapped by thoughts of when the next glass of wine will be poured.


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