The ghost of Christmas past

I have nice memories of last Christmas.

In fact I have good memories of the last six Christmas’s as I enjoyed all of them without drinking alcohol, and despite some difficult times they were probably the best that I can remember since my childhood.

Some of the previous years were, on reflection, not so good. They may have been ‘better’ financially, but there are some ‘gaps’ and ‘blanks’ when I replay the picture shows in my mind. I am assured by those around me at the time that I was having a fantastic time, but to be honest I just can’t remember.

It seems to me that Christmas starts earlier now. The first signs appear in the superstores late September, early October, the seasonal food, the decorations, the party packs, all  piled up next to an even larger stack of alcohol.

The advertisers bombard us with glamorous images of elegantly dressed, sophisticated people, having a wonderful time, smiling laughing, dancing, life appears to be good. The flip side is rarely shown. The spinning room, the vomit, the thoughtless insult, the blood from the inevitable fight, the tears from the broken relationship and the life changing pregnancy.

Hospital A & E departments will be full of smartly dressed people holding something, usually their heads, but it could all be so different.

It is of course entirely possible to have a good time and relax without using mind altering drugs such as alcohol, but it may take some practice. So many people use alcohol in an attempt to ‘overcome’ something, instead of addressing the issue itself. Alcohol doesn’t overcome anything; it just suppresses the difficult feelings or emotions created as a result of the issue.

If you want to be confident then you will need to earn it by experiencing the feeling of being uncomfortable and not confident so that you will be aware of what needs to change. It is work, maybe the hardest you will ever undertake, but true confidence will last a lifetime.

The illusion of confidence created by alcohol is temporary and only lasts until the effect of the alcohol wears off.  Persisting with this practice can have some very undesirable effects including illness and ultimately alcoholism.

What will you be giving this Christmas? All that you are and the best that you can be? Or will it be the traditional hangover and the feeling of wondering why you bothered?

Whatever you decide, I wish you well.

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