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I’ve written about my first, second and third sober Christmases in the past here (sorry, am on phone so can’t link but if you search on ‘Christmas’ in my blog you will find them, with a couple of images of Sean Connery thrown in for good measure).

It sounds too obvious even to mention but it’s usually the run-up to Christmas that is most stressful, rather than the day(s) itself. This year I seem to be more on top of things, much because I have been making more effort with the bleeding housework for the last couple of months, so the place is tidier and cleaner already with 5 days to go.

Ssome alcohol related milestones:

Having noticed we were out of white wine I offered to pick some up as part of the weekly shop. Since I stopped drinking my husband has been buying any alcohol that he drinks or that we offer to guests. I have bought the odd bottle here and there but not in bulk, not deliberately going into the alcohol aisle and perusing labels, choosing what wine would go with which food when I’m not going to be drinking it. I surprised myself slightly by offering to do that, and I don’t think I’ll be doing it on a regular basis. The actual doing of it was fine – I was more cynical than anything else, reading the marketing guff that wine labels consist of, translating it in my head into either ‘pretentious to be served to someone you want to impress’ or ‘glugging’. Smoke and mirrors, guys – it’s all just ethanol!

Had a dinner out with some friends and took along a bottle of pink non-alcoholic fizz. Having something which is a different colour is really helpful as there’s no chance to mix up your glass with something alcoholic. I felt pleased that I’d made it out into the boozy world and floated through it without feeling as affected by it as I have in previous years.

The last item is the trickiest to accept, for me… When I asked what they’d like for Christmas, a family member asked for an alcohol related item – the sort of accessory I would have appreciated in my drinking days. I bought it with hardly a pang, but the real twinge came later when I thought, “Hang on, they know bloody well I don’t drink – but they think it’s ok to ask me to buy something drink related?!”

I know that people who drink can have a pretty sketchy understanding of what not drinking is like. I get that, and I understand that the drinking norm is so deeply ingrained that this didn’t even raise a red flag for that person. I can choose to be hurt, or I can choose to let it go – my choice.

Overall I am pretty much over the whole idea of alcohol. I need to handle where the world’s attitude to it impinges upon my life, but it’s not something that has any significant power over me these days. That’s such a powerful, steady place to be, and I am so immensely grateful to have reached it.

Wishing you a peaceful and sober Christmas, my dear online friends! Prim xx

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