yesterday was an overwhelmingly happy and peaceful day, building new memories and traditions in the midst of family chaos. I am glad I recorded my feelings about last Christmas to re-read, so here are some snapshots from this year:

at lunchtime on Christmas Eve: my son asking me, “Mummy, how long have you been teetotal?” and having a relaxed, whole family discussion about it in a way I could never have dreamt of a year ago, when the whole topic was so hedged about with fear, panic and shame. saying to them all that I decided not to drink ‘for various reasons’ and that I felt so much happier and healthier. and most importantly, that not drinking is not weird, that many people don’t drink at all. note to self: need to find cool teen icon who doesn’t drink…

on Christmas Eve night: observing how those who were drinking – whom I previously perceived as ‘the care-free ones’ – were in fact those under a compulsion, with their repeated trips to the kitchen for top-ups. noticing, I hope charitably, as their anecdotes became repetitive, their words slurred, and their attention erratic. wincing at the indubitable fact that my children saw me like that and ludicrously grateful that they don’t, any more.

being very thankful for my green highball glasses, which meant I could leave my drink lying about and not have to pick up random glasses and sniff for alcohol. do you have special treaty glasses? highly recommended!

inventing a new mocktail of Red Bull mixed with raspberry/cranberry juice, with some frozen raspberries added. it tastes like cough medicine ought to πŸ˜‰ trying to come up with a cool name for it and failing. suggestions welcome!

later than it should have been on Christmas Eve: reading the entire ‘Christmas’ chapter of Paddington Bear to my daughter, being completely sober and patient, rather than longing to get away to my wine – and her gently stroking the ‘Stay Here’ bracelet on my wrist.

on Christmas Day: feeling very much less weird notΒ drinking, compared to last year when it felt as if I was dressing as Carmen Miranda but then trying not to be noticed.

me, Christmas 2013: nothin’ to see here, folks. just a 52 days sober lady tryin’ to hold it all together.

seeing more clearly how the dynamic changes in a family occasion now I’m not drinking. how, actually, everything s…l…o…w….s Β  Β d…..o……….w………..n and I get to have a whole day with the people I love and wake up bright and breezy on Boxing Day and post here πŸ™‚

I’ve walked this path through the woods before. it will change every time I walk down it with the passing of the seasons. I am so grateful to be on it and to be seeing life with new eyes.

how was your day? how are you doing? Prim xx