When I used to drink, boxing day was always an anti-climax and the day after was even worse. For one thing I still felt a bit hungover and even shell-shocked from having such a volume and mix of drinks. Secondly the thought of more drink made me feel ill despite knowing I was going to have to have some because that is what I did, and often drink was all I could think about as well. Now it’s different.
If this is the first day of you being newly sober, or the first day of a countdown to a dry month, or even just another dry day after your first dry Christmas you might be wondering what to do with yourself.
When the thought of having a drink no longer forms part of your mind-set and you have attained that wonderful new sense of freedom you won’t have a problem thinking what to do, because you will already have developed a new life for yourself. Until then, some ideas:-
Absorb yourself in a really good book. This year my wife bought me the illustrated Bible, not because I am religious (if anything I follow a Buddhist way of life and thinking) but because the Old Testament fascinates me with its wars, murders, mysteries, magic and the sheer power of the storytelling dating back some 3000 years. With so much strife between all the three peoples of Abraham (see, I’ve learnt something already) it is a fascinating time to understand the history of it all even if the tales have been doctored by vested interests over the intervening centuries. I am also eagerly awaiting delivery of a book by David Bohm a quantum physicist who linked his science to philosophy and beliefs almost as paranormal as those in the Bible.
Burn off your new found energy or start a new get fit regime. There is nothing like exercise for making you feel virtuous and instilling in you a new desire to achieve great things. This year I went for a swim Christmas morning, I did do the same today and if the gale blows itself out will go kayaking in the ocean with a pal of mine tomorrow. We had planned to go Christmas morning but the weather decided against us. We also went for an eight mile walk along the sea-front – very bracing, exhausting but rewarding.
Treat yourself to some great food. I am spoiling myself this Christmas with mince pies, chocolate, apple crumble and ice cream and all manner of good things I normally try and avoid or only have occasionally. After all, why not – it’s Christmas.
Do something for others. Using all the extra time you have on your hands now you are not wasting it drinking to help others is always special, one of my sons-in-law is working with the homeless this Christmas. Being able to drive at all times of day and night means you can visit people you might otherwise not get to see, or just being out and about and celebrating the fact you are alive by smiling at people and wishing them well for Christmas is nice. I am aware that in some towns and cities you might get taken for an idiot if you smile too much however!
Do something for yourself. Write down your plans and ambitions for the year ahead and be realistic, make them achievable, notable and identifiable. Create a star chart so you can tick off achievements day by day if that helps. It certainly works in my household.
Don’t wait until the new year! And don’t wait to start your new life. I used to waste those days between Christmas and New Year when I would be ‘starting anew’. It meant nothing ever got achieved. Treat every day as important in its own right.
Go for it!