Once again, the holiday season is upon us. It’s time for a lot of people to gather and share food and drink. The Big Book of Alcoholics anonymous (page 102) states that we can go anywhere we choose as long as our motives for going are good. We must also be in fit spiritual condition. Just what does this mean?
Well let’s start with motives. If we are invited to an old fashioned whoopie party, we need to examine why we are going to go here? Is it to see other people that perhaps you haven’t seen for a while? Is it to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous if asked to do so by someone? Are you going to just enjoy the camaraderie of others? Or are you seeking some vicarious pleasure in watching other people drink and perhaps become drunk? Perhaps you want to link up with a member of the opposite sex. Would you select someone who was obviously intoxicated?
So, if our motives are in the right place, we are good to go. If they are not in the right place, we should probably stay home lest we find ourselves drinking again. If our motives for going are good and we feel that we are in fit spiritual condition, go ahead and join the party. However, you must still remain vigilant being in the place where alcohol is being served. The office party is notorious for people drinking too much and acting silly. This can be very embarrassing to the person in question when they return to the office for the next workday.
Personally, my experience going to events where people are drinking has been mixed. At times these parties can actually become boring. It’s not really fun to try and talk to someone who is not making sense. They have probably had too much to drink and really don’t know what they are saying. And I have been to parties where people are drinking and having a good tie without getting drunk. I’ve had some great conversations at these parties.
The best way I know to refuse alcohol when asked what you would like to drink is to say no, “I’m allergic” to alcohol. Most people will respect this and suggest a soft drink or club soda for you. As for my friends, well everyone knows I am a sober alcoholic so they just by-pass asking me the question altogether. They respect my sobriety and me as a person. Truth being told we are allergic to alcohol! Refer back to the Doctor’s Opinion in the Big Book. Dr. Silkworth clearly states that we have a physical allergy to alcohol (pg. xxviii). Once we trigger this allergy by drinking, we cannot stop. So, the best reason for going to a gathering of sorts is to see people and perhaps catch up with them and what has been going on in their lives. Just remember to check yourself before going, make sure your motives are good and that you are in fit spiritual condition.