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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tis’ the season – alcohol, the holidays, and a fresh new start

Yes, tis’ the season to be jolly, festive, merry and full of holiday spirit and cheer. But why does it seem that holiday “spirit and cheer” must be alcohol-related? More and more I get the feeling that without alcohol, a great number of people are unable to enjoy social gatherings of any kind. Have we reached a point where fun and joy must include drinking alcohol?
At this time of year there are abundant holiday parties, open houses and family gatherings, and with them- much pressure to drink, and over- drink, which is a nice way to say “drunk”.  There is so much pressure to drink, it seems inconceivable to many that there are many of us out there who manage just fine without partaking. As a matter of fact, we may be having the most fun of all in our sobriety.

Many years ago, I came to the realization that alcohol brought nothing positive to my life or relationships, and I made the decision to live a sober life. I have never regretted that decision. Before that epiphany, I too used to enjoy drinking at social gatherings and holiday outings. Due to some serious life-changing events and thought-provoking situations, I came to understand that for many people, alcohol is not something that will ever bring great tidings of comfort and joy, at any time of year.
I am not trying to be a downer during this time of great rejoicing and holiday festivities. I am only seeking to offer an alternative lifestyle choice that could change people’s lives and the lives of their loved ones forever. Many who read this may realize that they could give themselves, and the people in their lives, the greatest gift of all- a life of thoughtful sobriety and a healthier way of living.

I urge everyone to look introspectively and really assess what part alcohol is playing in their lives and how it is affecting their home life, relationships, professional careers, and health- both physical and mental.  

The truth is, you don’t have to drink alcohol to be the life of the party, and more importantly, you don’t have to drink alcohol to function in your everyday life. If you find that you have lost the ability to make that choice, and you are drinking to self-medicate or get through life, I humbly and compassionately urge you to please get help. There are so many resources and organizations to choose from. It may not be easy, but I promise that the pay-off will be worth it. Take it one day at a time, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and make 2012 a new start and beginning.

So without judgment or self-righteousness, I implore everyone to take some time to consider an option you may not have realized, or may have been too afraid to face. A life of sobriety is something to consider. I wish you peace and joy during the season of renewal and hope.


  1. There is SO much middle-aged alcoholism I'm my family I decided to quit after a dream that I had on December 29, 2003. Although I was never a big drinker, I have enjoyed never having to even think about it ever since that day. And I never have to be concerned about sliding into alcohol abuse, which is a bigger relief than I could ever predicted.
    I have been most fortunate, no one has pressured or cajoled me to imbibe since I eliminated alcohol from my life. I still cook with alcohol, so in that sense I am not an absolute teetotaler.
    If there is a question of addiction or over-consumption, I join with Diana in imploring you to get help. This is a timely post that offers so much hope.
    Thank you ever so much, Diana!

  2. In March of this year I cut down on the drinking. One beer on a Friday night. My teenager told me it would be a great holiday season for me because I could see parties from the viewpoint of watching a bunch of over-drinkers. Once it becomes habit to say, no thanks, it's easy. Friends and family ask me why. I tell them medication. Truth is, I just think life is better when I'm not drinking. People get used to the new you. They really do.

  3. I am so grateful for these comments, as I know that they can possibly be the catalyst for change for someone who may be struggling with this issue. There is life after alcohol. A rich and abundant one. THANK YOU for sharing.

  4. Diane your words are so inviting to those who drink to excess and those who think they may. Your soft invitation to "think about it" is almost alluring, in a gentle way. You know me and mine. I throw it out there blatantly, in hope it sticks.

  5. Don't drink much now... a glass of wine puts me to sleep, with all the medication I'm on. Have drunk much in the past. At the 14th Field Station, drinking overmuch was de rigueur.
    The drinking tapered off as I grew older...
    but I had one really bad night while in Berlin...
    call it a meeting of cultures. A Pole, who had never met an American, was introduced to me at a local Berlin restaurant. He insisted on toasting (with arms entwined) both our countries... with water glasses filled with a Polish Vodka (All I remember is that it was yellowish and had a piece of straw in the bottle). We drank three or four glassesful. Had to call in sick the next day for a swing shift. I worked with high voltage and would have killed myself because of shaking hands.
    There's a lot more to be written here on the subject but I'll just say that a non-alcohol Christmas is a better Christmas for all concerned.

  6. As a child I looked up to my father. I loved and respected him for the way he took care of his family,his job,and everything in his life,till
    the day he started to drink heavily and when he got drunk became a babbling unreliable fool loosing my respect to this day.I wonder how many parents fail their place in the eyes of their children for the same reason. Very sad indeed!

  7. It used to be that alcohol played a major part in my life. No more. Now, I enjoy some alcoholic beverages from time to time.During the holiday season they're more frequent. However, after my birthday in mid Jan., it's every couple of months, maybe. I MOST definitely refrain from drinking & driving.

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  9. Everything in moderation. Why must it be all or nothing? Drunkards drink only to get drunk, while some of us drink for the taste of our favorite drink. I'm a beer snob myself (only top fermenting ales for me please). That said, I don't understand people who feel the need to give me a hard time for drinking only one or two drinks. Why must I have more? How much is enough? Do I have to drink to get drunk? Yeah, I'm not in college anymore, dude. Grown up. Everything in moderation.