A couple of years ago, I ruined Christmas. It was truly horrific and an experience I never want to repeat.
Tradition had always been to meet up with friends on Christmas Eve, drink to excess from lunchtime & feel like crap on Christmas Day. Christmas Day usually began looking green, gagging over the Bucks Fizz & binge eating sausage rolls.
So, in an attempt to break tradition, I decided to stay in on Christmas Eve & stay sober. I was spending Christmas Day with friends & then Boxing Day with my family.
For the first time in a long time, I woke up hangover free on Christmas Day. It was a revelation! I was actually excited about the food & the wine & the presents & the palava!
The problem with me however, was that if I woke up sober on a special occasion, I was so proud & excited that I generally lost the plot.
The day had started well. My friends & I had made a pact that, as we were spending the following day with family, we’d take it easy. Yes, we’d have a couple of drinks but we’d get home by 8pm, we’d get a good nights sleep, we’d be fine.
We did so well. We got a taxi home by 8pm as planned. Well, my friend’s home. And then the infamous words were uttered ‘come in for a quick one?’.
Instead of telling the taxi driver to drive on, there was no hesitation in me jumping out the cab. What harm would a quick one do? It was only 8pm. I’d stayed in the previous night .. I would be home by 10pm, no harm done. Yeah right.
My friend had her Christmas stash of booze ready. We thought we’d be sensible (oh the irony) and stick to free pouring vodka rather than wine. That would be ‘better for us’ in the long run.
And that was that. I remember nothing. Still to this day I have no idea how long I was there & no one knows how I got home. All I do know is I woke up in my own bed, fully clothed, half an hour before I was getting collected to go to my parents and I was very very sick.
Rather than get dressed up nicely for the day ahead, I could barely have a shower. Bluntly, I was fucked. I literally couldn’t pull anything out of my pathetic empty bag.
When I got to my parents, everyone could see I was struggling. They opened a bottle of Champagne I’d received for my 40th. We’d saved it especially but I was sipping water. I tried to binge eat my way through the sausage rolls but they just made me sick again. We opened presents but all I really wanted to do was die.
I felt like a ticking time bomb. My mum had worked so hard to cook a lovely dinner and I knew that I needed to be in some kind of state to be able to eat it. But things weren’t looking good. I couldn’t keep down water, let alone a roast potato.
Tick tock tick tock
Inwardly, I was willing my body to sort itself out. Please body, just stop vomiting. Food will make you better. Please, come on, just one more time .. I can’t not eat.
But the pressure was too much. And my body was poisoned beyond belief. And dinner time came. And I couldn’t do it.
My mum’s disappointment was overwhelming. If I didn’t eat, she wouldn’t eat either. But my throat was closed and nothing would go in. She scraped my dinner from the expensive dinner plate into a cheap plastic box to take home for later. Christmas was ruined.
I understand people are worried about Christmas. How can you possibly survive without a Bucks Fizz or a glass (2 bottles) of red with dinner or a port or a shot? But my Christmas story is enough to put me off for life.
Stop focusing on what you think you’re missing out on and think about what you’re gaining. A clear head on Christmas morning & money in your pocket to spend on far nicer things than making yourself sick. Enjoy your Christmas dinner for once & stop dreading that you’ll have to do it all again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. Go for a long walk to burn off the excess Quality Street. Be present for your friends & family rather than a drunken corpse in the corner. If nothing else, give it a go! You never know, you might just like it 🎅🏼