Exorcising the ghost of Christmas past – My sober Christmas

This isn’t my first sober Christmas, I’ve been sober at Christmas when I was pregnant. I have even had a sober Christmas once when I wasn’t. However, this is my first sober Christmas, where I am delighted to be so.

Past Christmas days would have gone like this:

  • Wake up hungover, hoping the pissed wrapping and setting up of presents from the night before were ok.
  • Cup of tea, followed by bucks fizz (for Christmas but also to help the hangover) and present unwrapping.
  • Get ready – with bucks fizz to help me along
  • Make dinner – with possibly a few glasses of champagne (it is Christmas after all!!)
  • Eat dinner – trying to soak up some of the alcohol now as I am feeling squiffy
  • After dinner nap, trying to sober up a bit, so that I can enjoy the rest of the day
  • Few glasses of wine and a very lazy evening as I am still tired after the earlier alcohol

This year was totally different. I woke up before the children, bright and breezy and hangover free. I was fully present for the gift unwrapping, usually, I would be sitting there feeling like death and wishing I hadn’t drunk the night before. And bursting to get on with making dinner so that I could be alone.

This time I had all of the vegetables prepped for dinner before I was even dressed. The kids and my husband were busying themselves while I cooked, but I was also chatting with them because I was enjoying it. I wasn’t frustrated because I felt ill and wanted to be alone. Cooking in itself was a much calmer experience because I had all of my faculties, I wasn’t lazy or sloppy because I was slightly pissed.

When we sat down to dinner the atmosphere was just lovely. We were all happy, poking fun at one another, laughing until we cried and generally just appreciating the time together. I wouldn’t have appreciated this as much before, because I would not have been fully present. Instead, we had Christmas questions read by our littlest one and chatted happily. I think this was also down to the atmosphere being altogether lighter without alcohol. In the past, I may have become a tad tetchy or emotional, because who knows where alcohol will take your moods?

I even had time for a dip in the hot tub! I was struggling a bit with pain and fatigue so I soaked for a while. When I was drinking this would have been another excuse to drink more and cut myself off from everyone. Not this time, I was chatting with the kids and they happily brought me soft drinks. They wanted me to feel better because they were enjoying time with me. This means the world to me.

We finished the day with board games, before I would have refused as I would have been sleepy or just not into it. But last night I was present and even enjoyed it (I mean, I won’t be joining any societies, I still get bored easily). It was more about the social interactions with my family. We just enjoyed being together. In the past, the kids would have probably scattered, but yesterday we were all together as a family. I have no doubt that sobriety contributed to this.

I am not saying our Christmas days in the past were not fun, they were. But yesterday was just so special. And I have woken today without any fear that I may have said or done something wrong, I am not checking out anyone’s face or body language to make sure that they aren’t angry with me. I am not doing this because I was sober all day and I remember everything. I am so very grateful for sobriety.

I hope that everyone, had a good day but I know that is not possible. I am sending you all lots of love and sending a bit more to those who are struggling.

Merry Christmas,

Much love,

B xxx

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