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When I gave up drinking, I was afraid of facing the festive season without alcohol

Mary Kenny


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It’s 30 years – 1991 – since I quit drinking alcohol, and how well I recall the fear and anxiety as Christmas loomed that year. How would I get through the festive season without booze? It was the mainstay of every social occasion at this time of the year – such a mainstay that I once completely missed the family Christmas dinner because I was knocking back gin and tonics with drinking pals.

In the first months of sobriety, I started to fear Christmas. A few weeks before the festive break, a wise counsellor told me: “Stop projecting into the future. You might have fallen under a bus by Christmas Day. Get through today.” And actually, it was fine.


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