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.
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.
I am the host tonight of a birthday dinner, sober Tonight is my husbands birthday, a few noticeable things, have come up he hasn’t a lot of friends (except 1 ) and that one friend is a great friend to him and he’s MR FUN. I believe you should have one great friend instead of a 25 acquaintances (which he does have) . He prefers to stay home instead of going out ( we are very different that way)
It’s his Birthday so he gets to choose what we do, and guess what, evidently there’s a football game on (insert groan here) that he insists trumps going out for dinner. He also gets to choose what we eat and drink (or what he drinks not me)
So today I started organizing more of a football party than a birthday party. Appies are 5 different high end cheeses and crackers (no potato chips here) so today I made a lovely platter. He chose surf and turf, NOT A VEGETABLE IN SIGHT so off to the butcher for good steaks, and seafood so off to the local seafood market for King Crab Legs, and Scallops I went, and of course he wanted Beer and Rum. And that’s where the BOUNDARIES had to come into place. I had a small inkling today for wine for some reason. In fact I’ve had a couple of triggers in the past few days, I’m tired my sleep has been very broken that’s part of the reason. I picked up a lime for my salad dressing the other night and thought oh I could make Margaritas – oops I don’t drink.
Here’s 8 TIPS TO HOSTING A SOBER PARTY
YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S BOOZE, THEY CAN GO BUY IT AND BRING IT, OR IF IT’S FOR YOUR SPOUSE THEY CAN GO PICK IT UP. Never put yourself in a situation where you might pick up a bottle of your liquor of choice.
Ensure you have something to drink, whether it’s a mocktail, a water, tea, what ever it may be just something in your hand.
Keep busy during the dinner, cooking, cleaning, serving, eating
EAT & Breathe
If it’s just a small intimate group like tonight there is 5 of us, and all but me are drinking at an appropriate time (aka as long as you can stand it and get out unscathed) excuse yourself and GO TO BED.
Bonus: 4 deep breaths in through the nostril 4 long breaths out. Do 10 times, if you have to hide in the bathroom.
Plan something for tomorrow. I am meeting a friend at the gym at 10AM, for a brutal leg day session planned and if it’s nice out I’m going to run there.
Play the tape out to the end. The stupidity, the argument, the relief it will feel for a moment and then the anxiety, guilt, shame, and of course play your HANGOVER out and your cancelling on tomorrows plans. Remember it’s not worth it. That’s why you stopped drinking in the first place.
Don’t forget to enjoy the Dinner/Party/Birthday and going to bed sober, that’s what I’ll be doing tonight!