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Recovery & The Holidays: An Excerpt from Dana Bowman

It's that time of year again, the temperature drops and the holiday pressures rise. We are thrilled to announce our December Tucson Canyon Ranch® recovery speaker, nationally acclaimed blogger and author, Dana Bowman. Check out this excerpt from her 2015 book, "Bottled: A Mom's Guide to Early Recovery" published with Central Recovery Press, a great depiction of navigating sobriety and celebration. You can catch Dana Bowman speaking at Canyon Ranch from Dec. 11-16th, 2019! Click here for more info.

Bottled: A Mom's Guide to Early Recovery

Dana Bowman, Central Recovery Press, 2015

Debra Kaplan Profile Photo

…I walked out to our front porch and contemplated the most depressing thing ever: I wouldn’t be able to toast my New Year. And Halloween? No big pitchers of margaritas there, either. I couldn’t see it, a dry Halloween. It seemed like such a fool’s errand, all this dressing up in kitty costumes, when there was no alcohol to make me feel comfortable with the tail and whiskers and the lack of dignity. Plus, Halloween had strangers coming to our door. As an alcoholic, I hate opening doors, answering phones, signing for packages, talking, being responsible, and basic interaction.

How was I supposed to do life if life meant all these fun things? Fun things had to be garnished by wine. Otherwise, they were not fun things. And I would be so terribly aware that they should be fun, just making me want to drink all the more.

I realized I would now have to do all sorts of events sober. Anniversaries, with no romantic champagne. Anniversaries had to be romantic and fun. Also, the Super Bowl. How else am I to deal with the boredom and cheering and the horrible halftime show? Also, anything to do with Christmas. Christmas means Bailey’s and egg nog with a kick, and who really cares about the birth of the baby Jesus when you can’t drink mulled wine by the fire while listening to Josh Groban?

We don’t have a fireplace. And I never much cared for mulled wine; hot

wine seemed like adding an unnecessary step to drinking it.

Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving meant traveling which totally strung me out, so that meant martinis at my father in law’s house, because he is a normie and was happy to oblige. He even had those really huge olives that are like a meal in themselves, so who needs dinner? I’ll just eat this martini and maybe one more, thank you.

What about when I land a book deal? How can I possibly not drink when that happens? Brace yourself for the irony here: I got a book deal about not drinking and yes, for about five seconds, I still thought, “Yea! I am so happy! Must celebrate now! Wine!” I also promptly smushed that thought with, “You crazy! Call your mother instead! Post a picture of a kitty dancing on the Facebook! Eat a Snickers! You don’t drink anymore, remember?”

That morning, in my kitchen, it seemed impossible to accept all this happiness that I was going to have to contend with over the years. “Forever,” I realized, grumpy and doomed, “Forever, people will have good things happen to them and I’ll be forced to play along. Happiness sucks.”


Read Dana's Christmas post here on her MomsieBlog!

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