Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Sober Christmas - Practicing Gratitude

6:35 a.m.
It's not Thursday yet, but I'm racking up the gratitudes.  Gratitude was the topic yesterday in my noonday meeting, so it's heavy on my mind this morning.  I'm freaking grateful to be sober as I type this morning because I've come closer to drinking over the last few weeks and especially the last few days than I have in the last 18 months.

Christmas is hard.
And that's just crazy.
I'm sitting in my semi-dark bedroom right now with one candle burning.  I've said my first prayer of the day.  
"Lord, I need you.  Please help me stay sober today."
My sponsor says stop trying to make everything so complicated.  
One day at a time.
One moment at a time.
One meeting at a time.
Pray first thing and then pray again before bed...and of course, any time in between is good too.

Right now I have the luxury of going to as many meetings as I would like.  
I'll go to two today.  
My sponsor did bring up yesterday after our meeting that it must be really hard for those who are leaving their work at noon, coming to the meeting, and then going right back to work.  She is retired, and I'm on Christmas vacation.
She's right.
I cannot even imagine trying to be sober, knowing I need a meeting(s) and not being able to get there. 
I am grateful.

I'm supposed to be working on my steps.  
I've apparently lost the "homework" my sponsor gave me many months ago.
I'm blaming it on our move.
I'll have to tell her today if I still can't find it by meeting time.
I have to do this hard work if I want to get stronger.  

Nighttime seems to be the hardest.  
The music.  The lights.  The parties.  The red and green decorations. The wine.  The mixed drinks.  Everybody is drinking.
And celebrating.
But not me.

I read Lotta Dan's post this morning about how what other people drink is not my business.
I want to be that recovering alcoholic.
I want to not think about what other people drink.
The beer my husband drinks is not my business, and I don't even want it.  He drinks nasty beer anyway.  Miller Lite.  Bleh.
But, the Captain Morgan Rum that my oldest daughter keeps in the pantry does indeed call my name.  
Hard liquor was my drug of choice. 
Takes less to do the job.
No sipping.
Just throw it back.
Don't even need a glass really.
Yep. There.  I've said it.
That was me.
It isn't me anymore.

As I pulled into the grocery store last night for buns, kitty litter, beans, and chips, I noticed the liquor store with its neon lights.  The word W.I.N.E.
A lady I had just seen going down several aisles in tandem with me was walking into the liquor store.
A young mother perhaps.
Getting the wine for her upcoming Christmas party or even as a gift for Christmas.
She may have even bought one of those cutest little wine gift bags that I saw everywhere as I was Christmas shopping yesterday.
What she drinks or doesn't drink, as Lotta said, is none of my business.
What is my business is that for me to walk through those doors means I hand over everything in exchange for alcohol.
My sobriety. my family. my job. my self-respect. my mental health. my trustworthiness. my children.  my husband. 
Last night I chose all of those over alcohol. 
One day maybe I'll be able to get through most days without obsessing.  But that day is not today.  
I'm not giving up.
7:05 a.m.


  1. It's hard because you have to find a new way to celebrate but it's not impossible. My BIL just died a few days ago of alcoholism. He was high functioning and a sergeant for the Sheriff's Dept but drank over 24 beers a day and more on the weekend. His wife, also an alcoholic was on life support right before Thanksgiving, which is what prompted him to drink himself to death. The day after Thanksgiving he was on life support. While he was in he hospital, she got out but then was readmitted THREE times while he was in. Every time she was released she drank again even though she can't walk and is in diapers. Now, he is gone and she is just getting out of the hospital for the 4th time tonight. It's a horrible disease but it's does take its toll. You are doing well. Keep going to as many meetings as you need to. It's worth it.

    1. Tina, you are so kind to stop by and offer your words of encouragement :) And further reminders that all the sparkling lights, clinking glasses, and laughter are not the reality of alcoholism.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family. Your in my prayers as well. This has certainly been a hard season for you. <3