How do you get rid of stuff? Is it possible to do a holiday party sober? And how do you deal with expectations?
One of the most rewarding parts of being sober for over a decade is having been forced to learn how to do anything, including socializing, without alcohol (or weed, etc.). Letter writer, don’t cheat yourself out of this amazing opportunity. Sure, you’ll be anxious, and that’s okay! Open up to people about how you feel weird being at a party and not drinking. Maybe they’ll share their own experience, or have advice, but at any rate; you’ll have a much more interesting conversation than if you were drunk and chatting about superficial topics. You can do this. It’s okay to feel anxious or weird, and to sit with it without self-medicating, and learning to do that is one of the most important adult skills you can master.
Further on the declutter issue, it's been very helpful to me to realize it's not as black and white as KEEP EVERYTHING FOREVER vs. GET RID OF IT ALL NOW. You can keep some stuff for a while and get rid of other stuff. In my own life, I've found that lightly culling or not culling clothing and furniture is perfectly fine, really, unless you have to pay to move it in which case that's between you and your budget. Minimalism is not really all it's cracked up to be.
10/10 TiP. Can't wait to roast my partner with the absolute stunner of a phrase "Did you huff some pressurized testosterone with that edible?", thx, Heather!
I taught The Crucible (a place of extreme heat!) to English III students for 15 years. Every year--EVERY YEAR--there was a kid who would volunteer to perform/read aloud every day who could not say Giles Corey's name correctly. Hard G, like Corey was shifty or swarthy. I could say Giles correctly ten times a day---didn't matter--that kid would always say it wrong.
Same with Tituba--there was always a euphemism for a breast mixed with an oversized band instrument. And Barbados--always Barb-A-Dose.
You can lead the horse to water, as they say.
I've moved four countries in the last 2 decades, a few of which I paid for myself. The first thing that went? Books. They are heavy! Displaying books on shelves was an act of performance that wasn't worth the cost in air freight. If you want to judge me by what I read here's my kindle. Lots of other things didn't make the "do I want to pay to haul this around?" cut and I do regret some of it, but I've never regretted the book culls.
I empathize with the first question asker, I really do not like the feeling of getting rid of stuff. However, over the past year, I've had two big moves which really forced the issue for me.
And you know what, I might not like the act of getting rid of stuff, but I realized I love the feeling of having less stuff. I became a clutter guy to a no-clutter guy practically overnight and it was awesome and now it's given me a bit more motivation to avoid amassing too much stuff in the future because I know that there are good feelings hiding behind the bad ones and they last longer.
Everyone should be exactly like me: take 2ish years off drinking/weed entirely. ENTIRELY. The whole thing. Go ahead and act like it might be forever. Relish it! Drink O'Douls and dance! Drink diet coke and dance! Absolutely REVEL in having no hangovers ever! Then, if you want, go ahead and have 5mg of edibles + 2 drinks for extremely special occasions SOMETIMES. This is the recipe. You're welcome.
How to get through a holiday party without booze... hold a glass of diet coke and just try to be a friendly version of yourself. Honestly there are probably other people there who aren't drinking either and they're probably also hoping there will be a sober ear to talk to.
RE: the edibles I absolutely recommend that but if you haven't had one before, try 1/2 of one and wait an hour until you eat the rest :)
I am about to recycle all my books, except for the rare (ish) and OOP ones. I work in a library, so I don't feel guilty (librarians cull all the time) but I'm a bit concerned my neighbors will disapprove. Also, do think SOME of them should be donated, but donations have been iffy in this time of COVID. I think I will just recycle the useless stuff now and worry about donations later.
Gotta echo the therapy comment. That kind of "crushing expectations, I'm failing everyone," I recognize that mindset and you don't need a history of overbearing parents to succumb to it, for real. Having a professional who can both gently push back on the distorted thoughts and suggest overall strategies and ways forward....well it really is a tremendous help, whether covered by insurance, a "so many free sessions" program through work or paying out of pocket (if possible).
Also as someone who in the past has probably edged over "social drinker" into "secret drinker" or "going for that last drink or two at the event just to feel the buzz/escape my own head" drinker...it's good to do the work of getting by on less alcohol (in this case, mandatory abstention for awhile), it'll be good for you in the long run (not what you wanna hear but it's really important to not need that level of distraction/distortion). Maybe some parties you don't go to, maybe some you still do and surprise yourself with the conversations that can be had.
Very late the comments but:
I tell this quote to myself a lot, not just re: selling clothes -
"If every time you go to purge, you worry that an item is worth something or too good to give to charity, then you suffer from the rag-picker syndrome. My great-grandfather was a rag picker by trade; he bought an old dress in one shtetl to tear up and sell for rags in the next. To engage in rag picking is to pursue a noble but time-consuming profession. But the question you must ask yourself is, is it *your* profession?"
(Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD, Susan C Pinsky)
In the FAQ to this stretching/flexibility course, it says Q: "I saw your work pirated at x location!" with the A being something like: "It sucks but I decided a few years ago that I wanted my job to be 'flexibility instructor' not 'part-time flexibility instructor, part-time copyright infringement litigant' so, thanks, but don't tell me about it"
(Not suggesting people are wrong to pursue art theft etc, just that it's a useful framework for deciding)
Before the joy-sparking lady, there was Brooks Palmer. I highly recommend his book "Clutter Busting: Letting Go of What's Holding You Back." The stories he tells about his clutter-busting customers are amazing and instructive. It's one of those books I reread every few years just to make sure I'm not trying to live vicariously through my stuff.
That said, I recently had to purge a bunch of stuff I loved (stuff I wouldn't describe as "clutter") due to a move/downsizing. It doesn't feel great. But, speaking of expectations, it's unrealistic to expect you're going to get to keep all your favorite stuff forever, or that you're not going to lose an irreplaceable earring, or that you're not going to break a special dish, or you're not going to drop your phone in the toilet. As the Buddha was always saying, "The glass is already broken." I think that means we should use it, enjoy it, or go ahead and give it away and let someone else use it and enjoy it before it really does get broken, instead of letting it clutter up our space.