Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
New Year’s Eve. It’s More Than Just a Night to Get Wasted.
As if it weren’t hard enough getting clean and sober, but add Christmas, family and alcohol, into the mix and some of us were lucky to make it out in one piece! (Abstinent and alive, that is.) But seriously, although it can be tempting to have an eggnog or two at Christmas, the real temptation hasn’t even arrived, yet. But it’s getting close. Real close! With the countdown just around the corner the big guns, have arrived. New Year’s Eve, known as a free for all, getting wasted – into the wee hours of the morning – is the biggest party of the year. It’s on this night we get to glam up and feel like celebrities. The last day of the year is sort of like a get out of jail free card. If you mess this up, you can always resolve to do better next year. After all, next year is tomorrow. It’s like we stockpile every bad thing we’ve ever thought about and save it up for New Year’s Eve. If you go online you’ll find dozens of new alcohol recipes. These colourful concoctions, appear sophisticated and mouthwatering. You can find everything from drinking games, to hang-over cures.
There’s a lot of hype and you might have noticed, New Year’s Eve isn’t just one party. It’s three.
First, there’s the before party. When you meet a couple of your close buddies for cocktails and appys, after you’ve already swilled a few at home. But really, it’s more like an ocean of cocktails, and one of those teeny tiny, piggy in a blanket, thingies. And let’s not forget alcohol is a depressant. With the copious amounts being consumed, you’re bound to run into a crier. You just hope it’s not you, who’ll be doing it. Then there’s the midnight celebration. By now, not only are you sweaty, you’ve worked up an insatiable thirst. You’ve danced up a storm. The loose juice has you gyrating all over the floor. And finally, the countdown arrives! 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1! Happy New Year! The champagne flows freely. You sing off key to Auld Lang Syne and look around for people to smooch. The stroke of midnight is a great opportunity to cozy up with someone you may have had the hots for, all year long. You might even find yourself blurting out a slurry, “I love you.” And what would New Year’s Eve be, without the after party? Of course to stay up this late and drink your face off, you’re going to need a little help. On this night more than any other, you’ll see people huddling over mirrors snorting little white lines of powder up their nose. Sometimes, the party can go on, for days.
But eventually, the party has to stop.
And when it does, many of us are remorseful. Some of you will have spent your rent money. Others, will have cheated on their spouse. Some will drive drunk and some, will get caught. Then there’s the really horrible consequences where one bad decision, turns deadly. According to safeauto.com, compared to an average night on the weekend, there are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor between December 31st at 6pm and January 1st at 6am. In just that 12 hour period, alcohol and drug related car crashes skyrocket. If you struggle with addiction, you may have committed to getting sober in 2016. You might believe New Year’s Eve is your last chance to go all out. Acting in desperation and overindulgence, is dangerous and things can go horribly wrong. Some of you with this mindset, won’t see 2016, at all. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype. You’ll notice how the beginning of the night looks so much more fun, than the ending. One of the most important tools I learned in sobriety, was to play the tape all the way through. Sure, I’d like to tip a glass of champagne at midnight with the rest of them. But my tape doesn’t stop there. It goes to the after party and drives drunk. It picks up cocaine and stays away from home for days.
If you’re in recovery like me, do everything you can to avoid anyone of the three parties above.
As the old saying goes, if you hang out in a barber shop long enough, you’ll get a haircut. Even, if that wasn’t your intention, when entering. The safest thing you could possibly do on New Year’s Eve is not drink, go out, or do anything. But you don’t have to hide in your house. If your sobriety is in jeopardy go to a meeting or call the number below, ASAP. There are many safe, alcohol free events you can attend. Start a new tradition with friends and family. Check out the community events calendar in your area. Our family attends a First Night celebration. Our kids love it and so do we. For more information click on this link. https://www.firstnightalexandria.org/ Be safe out there and Happy New Years! If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 888-601-8693.