Do you suffer from a fear of missing alcohol? This Naked Mind along with other resources can help you!
As a social drinker, December was always my favourite month. The festive season celebrates excess, and I was rarely sober. I would fully embrace the mantra ‘eat, drink and be merry.’ . Baileys with brunch? Why not! Liquid lunch? Of course, it’s Christmas!
A born introvert, I loved getting drunk to boost my confidence and would lose myself in weeks of alcohol-soaked evenings, accepting every invite for fear of missing out. I was full of Christmas spirit (usually vodka) and was often the first on the dance floor and the last to leave any party.
In my late 20s, something shifted. I struggled to moderate my alcohol intake. I lost phones, purses, shoes, and whole nights would disappear from my memory. December saw me lurching from one hangover to the next, waking up daily with suffocating hangxiety and a new bump or bruise from a drunken fall.
In January 2017, I spoke to my GP about a debilitating bout of anxiety and insomnia that left me unable to work. I casually mentioned my anxiety seemed to worsen when I was hungover, so the doctor suggested I stop drinking for a month to see if my mental health improved. Desperate to feel better, I decided to give sobriety a go.
December saw me lurching from one hangover to the next, waking up daily with suffocating hangxiety and a new bump or bruise from a drunken fall.
The early days of sobriety felt a lot like grief. My strongest friendships were formed through drunken nights out and quitting felt like breaking a social pact. Getting drunk was normal and expected, and any attempts to stick to soft drinks were met with cries of: “Don’t be so boring” and “One drink won’t hurt.”
Fear of Missing Alcohol
I realised the strength I needed to socialise sober was a muscle that required training, and I couldn’t just throw myself into a boozy party and hope for the best. So I avoided events where I would be the only teetotal person present and clung to pregnant friends for moral support.
This Christmas may look different to the rest. Whether you’re heading to the pub with friends or having Christmas parties on Zoom, alcohol will undoubtedly be involved. So, if you are facing Christmas without alcohol, here’s some advice to help combat the fear of missing alcohol.
Find a sober buddy
Dru Jaeger, Club Soda co-founder and author of How to Be a Mindful Drinker, says, “Notice who else isn’t drinking. One in three people either don’t drink at all or drink less than once a month. So even during the holidays, you’re in good company.”
If you don’t know anyone who’s teetotal, you can find support and friendship through the dozens of online sober communities. If you’re looking for sober inspo, check out Club Soda, Sober Girl Society, Soberistas, and This Naked Mind.