Opening Ceremonies for the Sober Olympics

By Boozemusings Co... 11/17/21

Let the GAMES begin! My birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. So many excuses to drink between the end of October and the last day of December! So many temptations, rituals, habits, triggers. Take the everyday challenge of staying contentedly AF and add extra family members, busy schedules, high-stakes cooking, loneliness, money drain, dark cold weather, social events, childcare challenges, missing people or places. Oh wait, and a Global Pandemic. Forget about staying alcohol-free, how do we even stay sane???

The good news is I’ve been training all year for the Sober Olympics. I have not been 100% sober in 2021 (though I’m nearing 4 alcohol-free months now!) but I have been dealing with most of these things recently without drinking. Now it’s all the things at the same time, but I’m going to keep using the skills I’ve learned and the sober muscle I’ve been building. Here’s what I’ve been working on in anticipation of the holiday, with much credit to various Boomers who have taught me these words or showed me the tools:

* Have a plan! Do not go into any situation assuming it’ll be fine. Have an exit strategy, have my own AF beverages, have someone I can call or text (or contact the Boom “loo club”)

Accountability: Make sure I’m clear with myself and open with those I trust that I have an intention not to drink, that I might need support in sticking to my goal. In turn, help my AF friends stay connected and accountable.

* Challenging my beliefs. They are not all true! My mom asking if that spot on the rug is new is NOT her way of telling me I’m a terrible housekeeper, a failure, and a terrible person. I am not transformed into the bratty younger sister no one likes just because my brother is in the room. My family and friends love me, and when I jump to conclusions or assume the worst, I waste that gift.

Treat myself! Dessert, here I come! I’ve also laid in a supply of bottled mocktails and fancy grownup sodas, plus all the fizzy water my fridge can hold.  Will make time for a haircut, getting my nails done, something to make things feel just as special as a champagne toast might have… before I realized it was poisoning my brain!

Community. I have two sober buddies who I video chat with frequently (thru Marco Polo,  not live). I can say anything to them about how I’m struggling, what I’m afraid of, etc. I have our private Boom community and public Boozemusings blog for reading inspiring and educational posts (and now I can listen too!) and for a Sunday Zoom I so look forward to. And I have so many sober podcasts lined up in my Stitcher feed. No, that part’s not interactive, but in addition to providing helpful tips and info, they remind me that I’m not alone. There are so many of us out there fighting the good fight against the insidious beast of alcohol.

Look outward. The world doesn’t revolve around me, so I’ll be doing some volunteering and donating to my favorite charities. I’ll be helping friends by watching their kids. I might adopt a new kitty! And I’ll be trying to help my kid make an elaborate Gingerbread Jurassic World, since he’s been talking about it for half a year, even though it’s beyond my skill level. These things remind me to stop being so self-focused.

What events are you training for in your personal Sober Olympics this holiday season? The Perfectionism Pentathlon? The Culinary Disaster Derby? The Travel Turmoil Triathlon? The Family Faceoff? The Gifting Grapple?

Come hang out with us in our BOOM Rethink the Drink community. In a world where alcohol is the only drug that people will question you for NOT using and abusing - it's great to have a team at your side. 

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