Office Spaced

Office Party Champain Sobriety Alcohol Recovery AlKHallAnonymous

Last week i went to the office Christmas party. i’ve been working in the same company for 20 years and at the beginning i loved the annual excuse to get trashed, then i grew to hate the Friday hangover so severe death seemed the only cure so i stopped going altogether.

This was the first one i’ve been to in sobriety and the results were mixed.

Office Party Champain Sobriety Alcohol Recovery AlKHallAnonymous Cons

  • i was less comfortable than i’d hoped
  • i ate way too much as i nibbled when i would have sipped before


  • Several people went out of their way to let me know how glad they were i’d showed up (everyone knows i’m sober and in AA, so they’d expected me to blow off the party again)
  • i felt more comfortable when my coworkers started getting drunk
  • A drunken Irish girl vaguely flirted with me by daring herself to see how many Mince Pies she could fit in her mouth at one time

In a couple days, i’ll be flying out of Yeaman to spend around 10 days with my family. In the past, i felt a need to stay trashed throughout the entire holiday season. i believed the only way i could support the holidays was if i was leaning against it with a glass in hand. Now, i understand my drinking is what made the holidays so stressful.

Family-Sized Drink Sobriety Alcohol Recovery AlKHallAnonymous

Large Family-Sized Drink

To all my readers, thank you for your support this year. Your presence on this blog and in my life has made sobriety more fun than it should be 😉 .

May next year see your dreams reachable and your challenges surmountable.


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on December 22, 2012, in Alcoholism, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Nice one my friend, I had a similar thing last weekend with the works do. The next day it seems an even better feeling that a) you didn’t drink & b) no hangover.
    Have a great Christmas.

    • Hey there Wayne,

      The next day felt good, to be sure, especially seeing all those that showed up with a hangover and knowing i was not one of them this year!

      Keep coming back, brother,

      Al K Hall

  2. So, now in sobriety: Drunk girl with half-masticated mincemeat splooching from her craw — not so sexy, I’m guessing?

    Congratulations for all your good work in 2012, and very best wishes for the New Year!

  3. Have a wonderful time with your family Al. Happy Holidays! So glad that you keep coming back. 🙂

  4. I’m glad you went. It makes sense that last year you would not have gone — sobriety was still relatively “new” and I”m sure there were some PTSD moments a year ago since it really was around the holiday time that you made your attempt — it was all too fresh.

    But here you are on the cusp of two years, and sounds like it was a pro to go.

    So you nibbled a lot, lol — well, that’s what people usually DO at those kinds of parties! Welcome to the “Normal Club” on that one! I don’t see that as a “Con”, I see it as rejoining how “regular people” (i.e., people who are not alcoholics) celebrate. I’m using quotes there as I know “normalcy” is something that you have been alluding to in being “just right-sized.” Eating too much is a just-right-sized thing is what I am getting at. Not trying to be judgmental about what is “normal” (which, IMO, is a setting on a washing machine, and nothing more) and what is not.

    As far as the other “Con” of not being comfortable, well, welcome to the regular world about those kinds of parties, too, lol. Just curious: why were you more comfortable when people started getting drunk, do you think?

    Just a thought, too: from personal knowledge, your workplace is unique in that several alcoholics work there. They may be in denial, but they are alcoholics. Your workplace is an *especially* and uniquely alcoholic kind of place. I don’t think it is representative of a usual sort of workplace. Alcohol figures very prominently there, so I guess what I am getting at there is that I think there is a lot of distortion about what a holiday party “should be” and what the expectations would be of the people who go to a party there.

    For that reason, I actually can’t see anyone being sane and enjoying the holiday parties at your workplace. I personally find the attitude about parties and drinking at that particular workplace pretty out-of-the-ordinary. I mean, I know a lot of offices have parties with alcohol at the holidays. But your office has them *every Friday* and the Christmas one is the King of Getting Bombed parties amongst people who binge drink once a week there as it is!

    It’s a weird place. You should feel uncomfortable, is what I’m saying! Welcome back to sanity on that one!! 🙂 That’s a “Pro”, too!

    I’m also with Luddy’s Lens: “Drunk girl with half-masticated mincemeat splooching from her craw — not so sexy, I’m guessing?”

    Yeah, what is that doing in the “Pro” list? Sounds, well, not-so-flirtatious and more just gross.

    Now that I am done with this comment, it seems more like your lists are reversed!! The Cons are actually Pros, and the Pros are the Cons, lol.

    Safe travels to you. Hope you have a great time with your family, and maybe we can catch one another on your next trip.


    • Hi Babe,

      Yeah, i nibbled a lot but i seemed to be nibbling more than other people, maybe because they were too busy drinking. Regardless, i felt sick from too much crap when i left and then the next day i had a food hangover, but a sick coworker and i agreed that a food hangover is 10 times better than a booze hangover.

      As for feeling more comfortable when people were drunk, i think i felt like was in a more dominant position than being on equal footing so i felt more secure. Childish, i know, but there you.

      As for the girl on the Pro list, as a fat, bald, 50-year old even drunken flirting is a boost to the ego. But she was only kinda flirting and has a fianacé so it was just harmless office crap. If she’d pushed it a little, i would’ve shot her down and this would’ve ended up as a ‘con’.

      Have fun yourself and enjoy the season!

      Keep coming back,

      AL K Hall

      • Hey Al —

        This is so true: “a food hangover is 10 times better than a booze hangover.”

        And isn’t it good to have that information now?! Progress away from insanity of addiction, and into just-right-sized, regular-folk holiday food binging, lol.

        A little antacid and a walk takes care of a food hangover easily, too. Maybe a poo or two (lol).

        And you know what? I think this is progress, too: “i felt like was in a more dominant position than being on equal footing so i felt more secure.”

        That is actually a better and more real security because it is a TRUE one. You actually have control and sanity now, whereas the ones who are binging, especially the ones who are alcoholic, are still unfortunately in a place where they have not figured out it’s unhealthy to do it.

        I don’t think that is childish; again, I think that is more evidence of “just-right-sized” and I think it is okay to feel dominant and superior in that case.

        As for drunken girl, I get the harmless office crap thing, especially from a drunk chick. I still think it is more sad than anything, not at all to be a prig, but I have “been there, done that” just as you said you have, too (in the comment up there) and it’s not a happy feeling. This is a more accurate reality as you aptly wrote below: “Totally drunk girls are not as fun as people think they are, a lot of drama and tears and cleaning up!”


        I’m sorry for being sensitive about the whole Polar Bear comment, but I guess one reason is that I have had reason to be sensitive and therefore triggered by stuff like that.

        Being triggered is no fun, as I am sure many of you can attest to. But I appreciate your and Bear’s comments about it a lot.

        Sounds like a lot of good lessons were learned with the party, all in all.


  5. jumpingpolarbear

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year my friend. PS! You might want to pursue that Irish girl, she sounds like fun :).

    • LOL — well, let’s hope not or else Al will have one pissed off wife, Polar Bear. It’s bad enough things are where they are at now.

      Sorry if I sound like a bitch about it, but Al does not write a lot about how we’ve been involuntarily separated — he is living in “Yeaman” and I am Stateside. It stings enough that he is going to be in the US for the Christmas, and we can’t see each other due to finances and scheduling, and I will be totally alone at Christmas…

      Yeah, it stings a little. It’s not directed at YOU, personally — I have a feeling you just had no idea about any of this.

      Things are not in the best of places, and shit like the Irish girl, given all of Al’s and my history and his addictions, just are not really that funny to me.

      (LOL — I hope she choked on one of the pies. *devil horns coming up*)

      Celeste, Mrs. Al K Hall

      • jumpingpolarbear

        It seems he already has the right woman in his life :). Sucks you can’t be together for the holidays, but I am sure you guys will make up for it. Treat her good Al, you hear ;).

        • Thank you, Bear!! 🙂

          I told my friend, Miss Anne Thrope, about these comments (she’d read the post earlier) and she said, “Oh poor Polar Bear, he thought he was kicking a rock in play, and it turned out to be a hornet’s nest!”

          I agreed! Poor Bear. 😉 I’m so sorry you stepped unwittingly on the nest.

          Thank you for your kind words, and hopefully for Al and me things will moving into a happy and whole place, together or apart. Happiness and wholeness is the goal here. 🙂

          Take care, Bear; (<—- lol. Now I am going to be thinking of you as a Care Bear!)


      • The situation sucks to be sure! (And she did kinda choke on the pies at the end!)

    • Merry Christmas, Bear!

      i appreciate your regular visits and kind words and i’m looking forward to spending more time with you in 2013. As for the Irish girl, yep, i’m married and so not on the market. Plus, even if i wasn’t married, i’m too old for that kind of relationship. Totally drunk girls are not as fun as people think they are, a lot of drama and tears and cleaning up!

      Thanks again and keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. Merry Christmas and have a safe trip! See you on the fiipside of next year.From WOI or L. Yeah, I set up a blog but won’t be using it much, if at all.

    • Hi L!

      Thanks for the visit and the nice wishes! It was fun having the chance to meet you, however briefly, and let me know when you start posting on your blog.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  7. Happy New Year dearest Al. May 2013 bring you pure awesomeness.

    • Bats!

      So glad to see you back here and thank you so much for your valued support. May the new year bring you the Peace of mind you so sorely deserve.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

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