Winter Weather Triggers, are real. The snowy cold days can trigger the romantic notion of snuggling in by a warm fire drinking the evening away, it can trigger the boredom response of being housebound or even the stress trigger of having to cope with kids home from school due to snow for days on end.
Weather triggers happen and here’s some coping tools for your sobriety toolbox.
Dreaming of the perfect winter afternoon evening drinking! Here’s my #1 strategy. Take a piece of paper draw a horizontal line down the page. First Column title the fantasy, second column reality. Take yourself through the evening, what it looks like in the fantasy and the reality do this all the way through to the next morning. Look at the fantasy vs reality.
Stuck inside winter boredom! Ok it’s time to get your ass into gear remember that list you made during good weather of all the things you wanted to get done around your house but it was too nice out. Get to that list! Start a project or take a class, make a vision board, craft, learn to play an instrument, read, catch up on movies, paint a room, sleep, do an at home workout, listen to podcasts, make some meals that you can freeze for easy dinners, plan out your meals for the week, volunteer, go ice skating, check out a different recovery approach ( Smart meeting, refuge recovery, y12sr), start a second income stream, catch up with some old friends that maybe you haven’t seen in a while do to isolation or your drinking, volunteer (food bank always needs help, as does meals on wheels at this time of year, local animal shelters)
Stressed out frazzled, everyone’s at home for too long. This is a big one, and I can’t stress enough the importance of asking for help. Whether it be from your partner, parents, a neighbour so you can have an hour to breathe (even if it’s just to go grocery shopping ON YOUR OWN) . If this isn’t possible, set up a play date with other kids, this can be a good break having other kids in the house. Don’t sweat the small stuff, so what the house may be messier, winter won’t last forever. Breathe
Remember weather triggers are real and to acknowledge these feelings so they aren’t just pushed aside, yes it can be uncomfortable and your skin maybe crawling, but know that drinking never makes it better.
Saying no to alcohol when you are out and feeling pressured is hard and I had a flashback Last night I witnessed a woman clearly say not to ordering a glass of wine ended up ordering one. A year and half ago that could have been me sitting there. Now I’ll preface this with I have no idea her reason why she did not want a glass of wine. But the woman she was with was having a glass of wine and said ” oh you can have one, I’m sure you need it” and the waiter said “you look like you could use a glass of wine” Here’s 3 tips how I have learned to navigate that pressure.
How To Say No To Alcohol
BE PREPARED FOR THIS situation (research mocktails so you know what to order): Sit up a little taller and say no thank you but I’ll have and promptly order a club soda with lemon, or ice water, or a mocktail whatever it is but make sure you know what you are going to drink, prior to going out
Say No Thank you I’m driving. Say no thank you I’m not drinking my calories tonight. Say no thank you I have an early morning. Say no thank you I’m doing #dryjanuary #soberoctober #soberjuly #fitfebruary. Say no thank you I’m cutting down as I’m getting healthier. Say no thank you I’m fighting a cold.
Turn it into humour with the situation above, I would have laughed at the waiter and said “I really look that bad, there goes your tip” or with the friend above “my life isn’t that bad that I need to have a drink” or something along those lines and then promptly order your non alcoholic drink
Remember if someone is pressuring you to have a drink it is usually more about them than you (wait staff want to make money) your friend may not want to drink alone, or it’s the only thing you have in common with someone. Drinkers like company remember that!
I hope these tips help, and as always reach out anytime.
Well let’s just say this, If you didn’t read my blog How to host a dinner party sober yesterday, I’ll give you a recap. It was my husbands birthday, and he chose instead of us going out for a nice dinner a Football watching dinner with his buddy. With Appies, great steaks and seafood, and of course booze, so I wrote a post that included a list of How to host a party sober with 8 great tips here .
Now the tips were great and I followed all of my own advice and yes stayed sober, but here’s the reality.
Dinner was to be at 7pm, the game started around 5pm. So his friend got here around 430 and the booze started flowing by 6pm they were flying high. I came downstairs I had been kicked out for trying to talk this is where my husbands nasty remarks set in (you see the difference between my drinking and his I loved being happy so I just wanted to be happier, I was a fun loud obnoxious drunk, he’s a very unhappy one where his hatred for the world comes out) ,
630ish which was half time and I suggested he put on the steaks and I would start on the seafood, but nooooo they weren’t hungry. Of course not, they were drinking you see how do I know this because this used to be me (insert cringe) I remember this selfishness display “just one more drink” I would tell my son ugh.
7pm rolls around and we have a shit ton of food, so I decided not to serve appies (thinking a late night snack might be better and my husband and I had a snack around 4pm) we had a serious amounts of seafood that are rich and big steaks and I didn’t want it to go to waste. My husband gets angry they are watching the game and fine, my son leaves he decides he’s not sticking around for this shit show and goes for dinner with his friends.
I’m miserably hangry by 745 ish, and the guys then say they want to watch the rest of the game, which they figure should be over by 815 ish, well I decide to put my steak and my sons away, as it had been resting on the counter as I don’t like eating a huge steak at 830 at night, tell my husband this I’ll just have seafood. I go back upstairs.
I come down around 9pm and my husband is seriously angry and decided not to tell me they cooked their steaks and ate the seafood. In his drunken stupor he didn’t hear me say I will just eat some seafood, so I ended up with a bowl of leftover soup from Friday night, a husband that just got nasty and me trying to be nice. So the reality check should have been for this party just order in chinese or pizza or thai at 6pm.
I slept in the spare bed away from the noise and about 1030 the stench of cigars fills the house again, cringe, I know when I would drink too much and it was cold out at times I would start smoking in the house and the shame I have today for putting my son through this, he was little when I would do this, and the house would reek of cigarettes. He hated the smell. The anguish that last night brought me, was not for my husband the ruined birthday or his behaviour. The anguish today is my own selfish awful ways when I was drinking and my son was younger. The heartbreak I am feeling and the apology I owe my son when he gets home today, this weighs heavily on me and my behaviour makes me physically nauseous.
If you are a mom or dad out there, it’s never too late start today, quit drinking even if you just try. If I could have a do over with my child’s childhood, I would have been a much more present parent. I have a FREE DRY JANUARY group if you are at all looking to try.
There are two things that came out of this, a) hosting a party when you are sober it may not go the way as you planned, b) completely unrelated things could come up.