I expected Christmas to be a very difficult time of the year. However, I found it okay. It was a new experience for me not drinking at Christmas having spent the last 16 years relying on alcohol. But I found by using my knowledge and skills, I could cope with not drinking and, therefore, was able to deal with other issues easier as my judgement was not clouded by alcohol. I found myself able to rationalise things easier and deal with problems rather put them to one side.
There is always more hype about alcohol at Christmas and seeing advertisements, special offers and people drinking and generally being surrounded by alcohol was a problem. This year I also had to deal with my emotional problems whilst sober. It is not a nice time of year for me so I do struggle with depression over this period. There is also an element of financial problems at this time of year.
A constant reminder that I have too much to lose if I start drinking again helps me a lot such as losing my health, relationships, friendships and just a general more positive life. Also thinking how I and others would feel if I was to lapse.
Attended the groups and one to one sessions helped a lot, it made me realise that I am not alone and there are lots of different strategies for maintaining abstinence.
Also by not drinking the emotional problems were not that significant and my financial problems were not so bad.