Only two more Big Sleeps. We are nearly there!
If you find yourself battling with the Wine Witch over the next few days, and she's saying things like go on, just have the one - it's Christmas! Let your hair down. Start again tomorrow, then please read (or re-read) this post:
The Obstacle Course
Of all the 238 posts I've written, it's the one that gets shared the most in times of trouble...
So, today I'm going shopping. Merry Christmas to Me!
I believe that many of us are really bad at doing nice things for ourselves. After years of boozing away all our self respect, we just don't think we deserve it. We feel so guilty about drinking that we try to make up for it by being as selfless as possible in all other respects.
But, listen up! Now you really do deserve to do something good for yourself.
You are doing a really hard thing, but one that's changing your life, and those around you in miraculous ways. Plus, you have saved a huge amount of money.
You're going through one of the toughest times of the year to stay sober. You've spent weeks buying and doing things for other people. And, in most shops, it's the Sales already. You'd be practically saving money!
Also, drinking only leaves you with an empty wallet, regrets and a hangover. Shopping leaves you with something special that will always remind you of your first sober Christmas.
And here's a secret: shopping gives you a serotonin rush, and we miss those, don't we? (N.B. this also makes it addictive, so watch out!)
Here are a few ideas of some good presents to buy your newly sober self:
1. Anything in cashmere. Something so soft against your skin always makes you feel better. But cashmere's expensive, so how about some teeny weeny cashmere bed socks? The White Company do gorgeous ones. On sale now.
2. Books. Reading everything and anything drink related got me through the first few months. My favourite self help manual: Jason Vale (Kick the Drink, Easily), memoir: Caroline Knapp's Drinking: A Love Story, favourite novel featuring an alcoholic: Paula Hawkins's Girl on the Train.
3. New pyjamas. You know it makes sense.
4. A Nutribullet (or other juicer). I've just discovered these. They are awesome. After decades of drinking poison, I'm now drinking eight portions of fruit and veg a day.
5. Something for the bath. If you want to really treat yourself, look up Aromatherapy Associates online. I'm totally addicted to their bath and shower oil called Inner Strength.
It was designed by the owner when she was diagnosed with cancer to get her through treatment, physically and emotionally. It's miraculous (but not cheap). Use sparingly.
6. Theatre tickets. If you have a celebration coming up (100 days sober? a birthday?) why not book theatre tickets?
Hardly anyone drinks while watching a play, plus the queues for the bar and the loo are horrendous, so you feel really smug if you can avoid them. It's a great way to celebrate. If that's too pricey, do the cinema instead - same principle!
7. New trainers. Nothing better than the latest Nike's to convince yourself to take up running (or similar) in the New Year....
8. New clothes....in a slightly smaller size. If you haven't already shrunk, you will. Give it 100 days and then watch it gradually fall off ;-) (see my post: Stop Drinking, Lose Weight?)
9. Something sweet and indulgent. Luxury hot chocolate? Cake? Truffles?
10. A puppy. I know they're for life, not just for Christmas, and you have to be really committed to staying sober to take one on, but I do believe that dogs are a sober girl's best friend (see my post here).
They keep you smiling, take your mind off the WW, get you outside every day, and give you unconditional love and support. Why not find one from your local shelter who's had a bad start in life and needs a break?
Please add any of your own suggestions in the comments below!
Merry Christmas to you all, and Happy Shopping!
Love SM x