struggling at christmas

hi, i know this is not an AA forum but am really struggling at moment to stay sober, it seems like everyone around me is partying, socialising, or even just having the odd mulled wine and it makes me want to join in, i know im being ridiculous really because other people have worse problems on here, through no fault of their own, but anyway im just really struggling and any words of wisdom would be very much appreciated. thanks

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  • This is the best forum to put you off drinking. Start by reading through some of the other threads about some very Ill people. The symptoms of liver failure are horrific. I can tell you that first hand.

    Drinking will stop you getting a transplant.

  • yes i have, been coming on here everyday reading horrific stories and it is doing the job, thankyou

  • You are not being ridiculous; you may not the have the severe problems many do on here; but maybe reading some of the posts may help you to stop and think before possibly picking up another drink. When all around you are drinking/ being merry at this time of year or any other time of year re weddings for example; its not easy at all to deal with. If it were me, id not go anywhere where people are drinking around you.

    It sounds like you are at a very vulnerable stage re trying not to drink; doing this; staying away from social functions etc may not be easy as some people might not understand, but others will i am sure. Will anyone be drinking where you are at your home this christmas?

  • no my partner doesnt really drink, but all my friends love to pop open a bottle of wine at any social gathering, even the smallest (ie two people), and my mum and dad have a drink most evenings, so my idea is if i want to visit family and friends i shall go in the day time, drive there and basically stay away from parties etc, ive got a family meal on friday and am a bit worried that i,ll start lying to myself that i can have one glass of wine and one glass wont do any harm so yes, feeling apprehensive about friday.

  • Yes, its not easy; i know what you mean; some people really can just have a drink or two....but each time you do that you risk drinking more...then risk damaging yourself more....maybe it would help if at the family meal your partner does not drink? As you say they rarely drink. Perhaps leave before people start getting too merry also, if this is the case; i think its a wise choice re staying away from parties too.

  • The rule of thumb is, when going around people who are drinking at events, get there late, and leave early. Have an exit plan. Make sure you can leave without depending on someone else. Also, it's ok to take a sober buddy to parties etc. most of these things have the plus one invite use it, with an AA pal!

    That's just what I was taught in the program!




  • HI Tammy

    I know how you feel, I went to a works do last week and everyone was trying to pour beer down my throat. I did want to be part of the fun, but the feeling passes when you see everyone's behaviour start to regress to apes lol everyone trying to remember the night in work, lol. I have done enough of that!

    Just think of your Fibroscan result, you cannot drink, you need to treat your liver as best you can, your drinking has already risked your life.

  • yeh definately puts you off watching peoples behaviour when drunk, i shall keep that in mind when having a craving, its not that i want to get drunk though, just a normal glass of wine or a festive baileys, but who am i kidding that would never happen, i shall persevere and hibernate if need be, haha, thankyou

  • When i first had probs with my autoimmune liver disease (which at that point i didnt know i had ) i stopped having even one drink as it made me feel so ill the following day .im sure you have had trauma of some sort to turn you to drink but as people have said you will feel much worse if your liver suddenly decides its had enough!!! I went from being an active 36yr old to using a wheelchair/mobility scooter !!with 4children including a prem baby as i was suddenly really ill whilst youngest son has never seen a well mum! Or an unstressed non tired im not trying to be a sob story....but you dont know what youve got till its gone!for everyones sake around you avoid those situs you know might temp you....perhaps do something completely different....a trip to the or give yourself a treat for each situ you manage welll.

    I know im talking from a non addictive perspective but do you really want to be so exhausted that you cant face a shower because you know youll feel so awful aftetwards..... not be able to cook or garden or even clean..yes sad as it is i even miss be able to do that.

    People sometimes ask i resent people who drink and then have transplants....i say no because an addiction is a disease and we all have different types of diseases but please grab life with two hands ...and live life to the full as best you can it sounds to me as if you are trying very hard so keep up tje good work.all my best wishes for dodging the festivities...cazer.

  • Hi Tammy,

    I posted on here a few days a ago about an old mate of mine lying in hospital with liver failure through drink. I saw him sunday-skin and bones-jaundiced and looking 10 years older than when I saw him 6 months ago. He has cirrhosis-the medics are giving him 2-5 years tops if he stays off the booze-if he's lucky.

    I know where you're coming from but do you want to go through that? Good luck getting through the festive season relatively unscathed.


  • no i dont and i know its not worth it, just need to stay strong, thankyou

  • we're in the same boat-all the best

  • Was the cause of your liver disease alcohol?

  • yes

  • Hi,it IS a difficult time of year if you're trying to abstain.A few thoughts-drive to all parties because you WILL get knicked if you drink.If you go-carry on drinking,orange juice/tea/coffee/coke etc-it distracts you and stops you feeling deprived,and also stops peeps trying to force alcohol on you.DONT think 'I'll just have the one'-when it comes to booze-there is no such thing. As an added incentive,remarkable organ as the liver is,it won't be gently warning you its a little unhappy with your lifestyle-When you take it just a tiny bit past its point of no return-it will fail,suddenly and catastrophically.As other posters have remarked-its not pretty and its an ugly,ugly way to die.Happy Xmas.

  • I'm sure a lot of people here can totally understand that. I certainly can.

    You're in a better position than some though - you don't yet have cirrhosis as far as you know but you have to abstain to get to the bottom of your issues.

    It's pretty simple really - whatever is happening you can't put alcohol in your body. You can hope that at some point in the future your liver will be back to a position where your doctors say you can drink responsibly but right now you can't.

    And in case you're tempted you'll want to consider how you're going to feel if you cross the line into cirrhosis and apart from anything else how you're going to feel when you have to trot off for your three monthly scans for liver cancer - something for which your risk goes up exponentially once you have cirrhosis. In fact nearly all cases of primary liver cancer occur in people with cirrhosis.

    It's awkward, it's annoying and it will cramp your style but you can't drink. Hold on to that.

    You can always learn how to behave as you do when you're drunk though :) It's no different to people who learn how to dance sober or do karaoke during the day :)

    Sorry. I do feel for you. Try and be strong, it's really won't be worth it. Especially if you'd like to be able to drink in future.


  • i will be strong, thankyou, feeling positive today.

  • Awesome! Because it's only one day at a time..a guy I know in the rooms always says, any damned fool can stay sober for one day..even me! That used to make all of us girls..but it's true..don't think about tomorrow..only today!



  • As usual, well said and well read, my friend!

  • Hiya Tammy! I don't post much on here due to lack of time sometimes. It was my 51st Birthday on Friday, 11th Dec. I had my VERY LAST alcohol session on 11th Dec. 2013. I have done 2 full years ABSOLUTELY ALCOHOL FREE! None of my family & friends believed I could do it but I have. I subconsciously prepared myself to do it. I cut down my alcohol slowly & set the date of my final drink in my mind. I didn't tell anyone. I knew that I couldn't just stop so that's why I kept cutting down. I have Cirrhosis of the liver which I'd known about for some time via treatment for Haemochromatosis.

    Initially, people want to know why you've given up so I start to explain my blood condition. That bores them so they go away! Then there are the un-believers who really don't like to tell you "well done" & you're doing great. People finally accept that you aren't drinking anymore and they don't really mention it. I was brought up in a working class family of big drinkers - any reason & the drinks come out! I went on to jobs that were stressful & drinking featured massively. I'm the sort of person who loves socialising & loves alcohol. The alcohol completely took over & became a massive part of every day. I have replaced the friends who only wanted me as a drinking partner. I have changed my social habits slightly. I live on my own and could easily have a drink without anyone knowing BUT I DON'T because I have chosen not too. I value my quality of life far more than I ever valued alcohol. I don't see the point of just having 1 drink because I can't just have the 1....... the mind is far more powerful than we give it credit for and I'm proof of that. And I know that when the party is in full-swing and all the drinkers are falling around me, they won't remember what time I left......They probably won't remember anything apart from the Hangover!

  • inspirational, thankyou , you have made me feel positive about the future, although will be hard as i love to party or used to, should i say, its just time to find something else to enjoy, something healthier.

  • Hello

    I havent had a drink for 13 1/2 years and my liver problems are not drink related. Couldnt see from your posts whether you are a member of AA, I find it really helpful and dont think I would manage not to drink without the support I get


  • hi, i did google yesterday as to where my local meetings are, it is something im going to try, thankyou anne

  • Hi there!

    I'm 7 years sober, and am a grateful recovering member of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA saved my life..literally.

    I got sober in September and those first holidays would have been hard, I was away from family, and my kids were not speaking to me..I was lonely as heck. But i made friends, and we spent the holidays together. We stayed busy, went to meeting, parties, sober parties, dances, etc. AA is full of activities at the holidays! It's amazing.

    It can be hard..and truth be told, it's hard on folks who can still drink with no consequences. It can be lonely for people who have huge families, a big tree in their home and lots of presents under the tree.

    I think we grow up and have the expectation of how the holidays should be. TV does NOT help, nor does all the ridiculous retail crazy it's, and the holiday movies, people being and dressing's crazy! And, it's too much.

    That is NOT what the holiday is about.

    Look, I'm not religious, at all, period..but even I know that's not how it should be.

    If you don't have family or loved ones, you can make friends, and create a new family, in AA, or through other people you meet in your life.

    Another thing that helps, helping others at this time of the year.

    The best way to stay away from a drink, is to get out of help another..even if your homeless, you can serve food at a homeless shelter, go to your local community center and ask how you can help.

    It truly does distract you, and you feel so much better.

    12 step work is truly the key, and you don't need to have worked all the steps to help others, although, it's not recommended to go n any 12 step calls by yourself if you do not have much time in the program, as often, you will will end up drink if your in a bad place and around people that are drinking.

    Remember AA is one day at a time. The holidays only last so many days. You can get through each day.

    I destroyed my liver drinking.

    October 19 th I was blessed with a brand new beautiful liver. It saved my life. Literally, as I was considered terminally ill and had been told my time was limited, at best. Lat year I was so sick, I could not even eat Christmas fact, last year at Christmas was when I really started to go downhill. It was the beginning of the end.

    Last Friday they admitted me to the hospital again, after being in hospital for 4 weeks, and at home for a month. My liver and kidney counts were bad. Now, they are better, but my white cell count is very very low. They're are people in here dying, not serving transplant.

    It's funny, I have been complaining and have been very scared, not only about my health, but the fear of being here for Xmas...since last year was when it all started, the beginning of the end I mean.

    I had 3.5 years sober, and my life was great. I had gotten my kids back, I had just fell in love, I was getting my PhD in anthropology..truly, my life was awesome! It was a shock to find out I was sick, and I could not believe it. I had hep C, and chirossis. I also had another liver disease. By the time they caught it, it was too late for treatment. In the US they told me I was not a good candidate for transplant. I had to tell my partner, my children, friends and fa, was devastating. To be honest, I was any good drunk, I could only think about me and my pain. Sure enough, I was scolded by my sponsor and went and did some12 step work, went to more meetings, and things got better. I moved to the UK to be with my partner until I died..then, when I went to visit the doctors here, low and behold, they decided I WAS a good candidate. I was on the list for 3 and a half months..that's it. Then I got not only my Christmas Miracle, but a reason for me to be grateful at Thanskgiving. I was told that at my families Thanskgiving table my children broke down and cried over what they were grateful for this was me, and the gift of life. I can tell you this...there was a time NO ONEas grateful for me, or my life...

    This is just my story..I hope it helps. The words of advice I gave you were words that were given to me my first sober Holiday season! And here it is, my 7th sober Christmas..and I'm not only alive..more importantly, I'm sober..because I can tell you this..for me, at least..none of this means a thing without the gift of sobriety..I would not be able to appreciate seeing the excitement In children's eyes as they gaze at the lights and decorations..or enjoy the snow and the smell of pine..of friends in AA laughing at the annual Christmas dance..

    Good luck, and remember, you are blessed..truly.

    We all have so much to be grateful for..and I have to thank you..I've been feeling sorry for myself, stuck here in hospital..and now, I don't.

    That's the great thing about the works.

    Cheering you on, and wishing you the happiest of days..

    After all..that's all we have is today..worry about the holiday when it's here..just enjoy the day today..and get to a meeting..I hope I don't sound preachy!



  • nice post K

  • Thank you!


  • thankyou so much for your story, now im not going to feel sorry for myself either, you have truly made me feel so much better, so what its christmas, so what i cant have a drink, youre right its not what christmas is about and i will go to an AA meeting this week, thankyou for inspiring me to be positive. xxx and all the best to you too, sending hugs xxxx

  • My pleasure..really, and if you ever just need to chat, please feel free to message me, ok? I mean it..helping others and being there for others is what it's all about..really..and I'm not saying you should not have the feelings your having..because those are YOUR feelings..and that's. Ok..many folks have the exact same ones..but remember sweetie pie..feelings are not's what we do with our feelings that matter..maybe you can start planning for next year, to have the Christmas and New Years You want to have..not what others think you should have! Your feelings matter..and that's why it's so important that you share them, but also to acknowledge them..I think your ever so brave to come on here looking for help! It just shows how important it is to you to NOT drink...I'll bet your sponsor would be so proud of's scary to admit your having a tough time and want to drink? So YAY YOU!! I'm proud of you and don't even know you!

    I'm inspired when people are open and honest..

    Just know that you matter, your feelings matter, and your right, big deal it's really is just another day..and on that day if you need to cry or yell, that's ok fact, you can message me if that day sucks.. Ok? I'll be around! And they have meetings on that day too, in fact, they normally have the, round the clock, if your in the US..not sure about the UK.

    Hugs you and cheers you..

    Be blessed



  • Dear Kimberly and all of you, Kimberley your story has really moved me and Tammy, I too struggle re having the odd drink when I know that really no drink is best. I only struggle if out and can do a single one only followed by water but I must stop even that.

    I have found tonic water a really good one as the quinine taste affects any following drink so puts me off any alcoholic drink, With ice and lemon no one knows it's got no gin .

    From reading everyone's replys it's comforting to know I'm not alone in the pathetic struggle I have when logically i know what I should be doing . It's given me real strength to stop altogether. I fear I may still fail but as you say one day at a time is a good motto,

    May be I can do one day at a time.

    Thank you

  • i know, im just doing it one day at a time, if i start thinking too far ahead i get panicky, its good to know we,re not alone.

  • You absolutely can do it! Trust me, if I can get sober, anyyyyyyone

    Good idea about the water with lemon or lime..that way you don't have to answer questions.

    Also remember, we are's ok to want to drink..that's normal!'s what we do!

    What matters is not acting on those's not acting out and picking up that next's just not worth feel guilty, ashamed, and worse, there might be terrible consequences..

    Another AA motto is one is too many and a thousand never enough!

    Meaning, one drink can lead you to the next and so on, and one can get you a drunk driving, if your one drink was like mine, a four finger shot, straight up..ugh. One also is a relapse..a thousand is never enough..once you start drinking again, there is never enough booze to satisfy that might NOT be able to stop..and end up like us on here, sick, or dying, or some people who are on here have partners who have died from liver disease!

    Like I said below. If your going to a party or place where there is drinking, I've always been told that you should arrive late and leave early. Have an exit yourself, so you don't have to rely on someone there who might get drunk and get behind the wheel, or not want to leave at all.

    Bring a sober buddy! Someone you trust who does not drink!

    Many things have a plus one policy now..who says a pal can't be your safe date? Why not?

    Thanks for your great advice and also for being brave and talking about your feelings..this time of the year is's better if we all stick together!

    Cheering you on!



  • Oh darling 😘😘😘😘 you said this is not AA - it's not but can you go to a meeting ?? I know that many people find the help they need from going ?? We can try our best but think it would help if you were able to speak with people that are more than likely going through exactly the same thoughts and feelings as you are at the moment 😘😘😘😘 especially at this time of year - I often think the same πŸ˜… I should be out at a party somewhere 😝😝 from people I have spoken to that have drank - it's the 'each day at a time' or hour - whatever it takes ❀️❀️ You can do this xx in a few weeks time Christmas will be over and parties etc will be done and it will be a new year - make that year 'yours' - think of all the positives that can happen - good luck and big hugs ❀️❀️

  • thankyou , yes im really looking forward to next year, just passed my driving test and got a car, which i couldnt do before due to my drinking, so i have got a lot to look forward to, onwards and upwards, thankyou xxx

  • Dear struggling at Christmas. Keep that chin up.its only a season you can get through this. Your NOT alone by any means a lot of us struggle with our demons especially when it's in your face.You will find nothing but support on this site and their are some real life hero's here.stay focused on your accomplishments setting realistic goals for yourself. Personally speaking people on this si

  • Dear struggling at Christmas. Keep your chin up stay focused and set realistic goals for yourself.we all struggle with our demons especially when our temptations are right there.your not alone this site has given me a renewed strength through positive comments and support from complete strangers you have some real diamonds on this site with pearls of wisdom Remember if it doesn't apply.let it to us we in this together people here will really help you if you give it a chance........Simon in London.

  • How did you get on over the festive period tammyscholey?

  • hi x i did ok x gave in a couple of times, still struggling but glad christmas is over, but everytime i gave in and had a drink, i felt crap the next day so not enjoyable, so dont know why i did it, but yeh get cravings all the time but must stress getting better with time x thanks for asking

  • Thanks for the reply and am glad to hear that it wasn't too tortuous for you. Best wishes for this year :-)

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