Christmas Past and Present

Hey guys, hope you all had a fab Christmas!  I got through my first sober Christmas and I can’t believe it 🙂  I’m pretty chuffed with that achievement!  Well done to any of you that did the same – it ain’t easy that’s for sure.  To be honest, the worst bit about the holiday period is the parties and the expectation that everyone is going to get wasted.  With being off work I only had our AA party to go to and this was also my first experience of going out.  A member of AA had arranged for a cafe that’s BYO, it would have music and it would be just AA which was a great idea!  No pressures from you guys that can drink moderately lol!  I decided since it was my first night out to treat myself and get my eyelashes and hair done (6 hours of my life I’ll not be getting back!!) and took my time to do my make up.  It was weird doing it without the pre-drinks I always depended on over the years to give me the courage to go out socialising.  I had purchased new thigh high boots and paired them up with black tights, a grey leather skirt and red off the shoulder lace body suit – and I was feeling good (if not a little ‘pretty woman’ in prostitute mode with the thigh boots, and nowhere near as skinny as Julia Roberts).  My husband, who is a proper scrooge with compliments, even raised his eyebrows and made a lurch for me!  That gave me a great wee confidence boost – I was ready!  The day before I had said to my hubby about giving me a lift into town – er, hold on….. I don’t drink… I can drive – jackpot!  Another bonus about being sober – no waiting for hours in the cold on taxis!  So, I picked up my very good AA friend and her fella, who is also in AA and drove to the venue.  The town was bunged with loads of revellers and everyone was in good cheer.  We met some of the other AA members at the door and were told the tables before us had arrived late and there was a delay but we could go to the nightclub beside it and get a free soft drink – WTF???  Firstly, I didn’t know if I was ready for a nightclub and secondly the ‘younger me’ was saying ‘what a feckin saddo, drinking soft drinks in a nightclub’!!!  But there we went down into the pits of the nightclub to join the other 20 odd AAer’s.  I’ve never seen a bunch of people looking so out of place and uncomfortable as these guys looked, huddled in a corner, wide eyed and the hunger hanging out of them!  This was 8.30pm now and no-one had ate from lunchtime – now, if you know AA, you’ll know that one of the tips for alcoholics is never to get too hungry as that is when temptation can sneak in and before you know it your neck deep in a bottle of vod!!!!  But here was 25 or so AAer’s propping up a bar with soft drinks – the place was not safe never mind us!  Queue bad AA joke 😉  One girl had been trying to hold a conversation with me while I was standing looking like a rabbit in headlights watching trayfuls of shots being carried past me, petrified I’d get a sniff or it would spill on me – I just kept nodding and hoping she wasn’t asking me questions – I’m sure she thought I was so rude!  And the thing is, I never even liked shots when I was drinking!  You just end up so protective of your sobriety that anything alcohol related in that type of environment is a threat.  Finally, we were called to the restaurant – phew!  In a time gone by all us alcho’s would have been running towards the bottle desperately and now we were all itching to get away lol!

We all got seated and I still hadn’t taken my coat off – so much for showing my new outfit off!  The food still wasn’t ready and everyone talked about how hungry they were and what they were having.  Ok…. this is were drinking normally lubricates and enhances the people and vibe I take it.  Yep, the conversation was small talk and general, not the everything’s heightened and hilarious (though fake normally) that drink brings to the table.  We all started to chat about our past christmas stories of falling asleep in train stations, getting taken home by kind police or waking up in strange house and not remembering how we got there – the usual messes that seemed funny at the time.  Then the food started arriving and chat returned to rating it – mine was very nice indeed (and didn’t see the sides).  With no drinks inbetween courses though we just sat waiting on the next course while moaning about how cold or hot it was, bland or spicy etc and literally as soon as desert was over I’ve never seen a group of people move so quick to leave – that was it!  Home and in bed reading my book for just after 11pm – and no-one seen my outfit or commented on it, or my eyelashes or makeup or hair – yes ego is still a big problem lol!!!  So all in all a big anti climax, but you know what, I didn’t feel like drinking and I didn’t want to go on and try a bar or something to test my sobriety – I really am too scared for that yet!!  But I did enjoy being out and best of all coming home to my lovely hubby sober and sexy 😉  Afterall, he’s the only one I really want to get dressed up for, apart from feeling nice myself.

I had a lovely family Christmas with my hubby’s mum, sister and nieces on Christmas day.  It was made so much more special by the fact that my sister in law (who is also in AA) made amends with her mum the month before after 3 years of not speaking.  Unfortunately they had a fall out after loosing my hubby’s father to cancer (he really was the gel that held the family together).  I honestly didn’t know if they would ever make up as so much hurt was felt on both sides, but with my sis in law finding AA and working the 12 steps she was able to make the approach.  This fellowship and program really is the gift that keeps on giving.  My mum in law gave my nieces their presents for the 3 christmasses they had missed together and the girls got so emotional and cried, thanking her but saying that the best present was that we were all together again.  As I looked at them all in my living room I began to cry too.  The family had suffered so much loss after my father in law died and the family was fractured; what seemed like beyond repair, as well as siblings not talking, strained relationships and my husbands 2 sisters and myself suffering with alcoholism as well as a marriage breakdown.  I stepped into my kitchen to let them have their moment when my hubby came out and said to the others ‘someones getting emotional in there’ and to that my nieces came running in and bear hugged me along with my mum in law and sister in law and then a very begrudging hubby lol!!!  It was perfect!

It makes me think of the Christmasses that weren’t so good like the time I ended up in A&E with six fractured ribs or when I drank so much on Christmas Eve that I had to convince everyone I had a bug (aye right!) and spent most of the day outside trying not to pass out!  One of my most shameful Christmasses was back when I was 25 and had been seeing a guy, Paul, from Halloween.  I wasn’t long out of a 7 year relationship and didn’t want anything serious but it was going that way and I knew he really liked me.  My drinking had really ramped up from I had gotten single and I was partying hard 4 days a week and this was also when I found mid week drinking at home, though it was few and far between then.  My ‘unofficial’ boyfriend, Paul, had been away for the weekend with friends and my girls and I had been partying with my friend Claire’s fella and his mates.  With us all being from the same town everyone knew each other and some of Paul’s, friends were there too.  On the Saturday night we went back to Claire’s fella’s house for a party where there was lots of drink and coke too.  I hadn’t tried coke yet but was up for anything with drink in me – it made me brave!  I knew my friends fella, Jay, had been flirty with me but he was renowned for being that way so I thought nothing off it.  As the night went on Claire went upstairs and went to sleep and everyone else started to melt away.  Jay said to me on the quiet – why don’t you stay – I’ve hid some drink and coke and we can have it between us.  Being the greedy, can’t say no to drink kinda person I was – I agreed.  My friends tried to get me to leave and I faked falling asleep on the sofa.  They eventually gave up and left.  Happy days!!!  More drink for me whoop whoop!  What I hadn’t given the thought to was that Jay had other ideas.  After alot more drink and coke and my inhibitions full on I entered a black out only coming round to find myself on the kitchen table having sex with Jay.  In a dreamlike state I drank on after and passed out on the sofa.  I woke to my friend Claire coming down from upstairs and the flashbacks hit me.  Claire was off with me as she couldn’t understand why I didn’t go home with the girls.  Although Jay and her were not on anymore she had alot of feelings for him still and I knew that.  I was mortified thinking of what I did to her and then I thought about Paul, he was dying about me and although I had kept saying it wasn’t official, him and I were with each other all the time.  I swore no-one would know and that would be the end of it.  Only, a friend of Paul’s had been at the party and had talked to Jay before he left that night.  Jay had said he planned to make a move on me if he could get me to stay and then had bragged back to him the following day.  Of course it reached Paul and he confronted me.  I couldn’t lie and knew I would be hurting my friend Claire as well but I hoped that she would see it as the mistake it was and hopefully forgive me.  She did not take it well at all and why should she – I was her best mate from we were 12 and I had hurt her.  Betrayed her while she was sleeping upstairs!!  I am still very remorseful about it.  I stupidly said to myself that she had done something similar to her cousin and sure we were all just sleeping with whomever like the lads were – girl power and all that!  But that was all to make myself feel better.  I played the big girl about it and Paul wanted nothing to do with me.  Claire fell out with me and the whole town knew about what I did.  Going out locally at that time was hard as everyone was sitting with Claire and Paul and myself and a good friend sat on our own – I was ostracised and I deserved it.  I really threw the drink into me over that period and was miserable.  Paul was a really good guy and anytime I was out he made a point of coming over and talking to me as he didn’t want to see me suffer the other’s ignoring me.  He knew I was a good person but had made a bad choice and if he could get over it and speak to me then the others could too.  Jay hardly suffered at all – he came over to me one night and said to me ‘all you had to do was deny it and none of this would have happened’!!  Claire was chatting and flirting away with him again.  I realised at this point that I had really liked Paul and had lost him.  Luckily for me, we still had a major spark and we got back together on New Years Eve – officially this time!  Claire also came round eventually but our friendship didn’t seem the same after.  And the thing is – I chose drink over my friends, boyfriend, job, everything in those years… and didn’t even realise it.

Anyhoo, as you probably guessed Paul and I didn’t last – a couple of years later he broke my heart and finished it, giving no reason.  Karma and all that!  And, Claire and I drifted and became facebook acquaintances 😦  But 5 years later I met my husband and that story continues – god love him lol!!

I’ll sign off for now,

Cheery bye, Sibi xx

7 thoughts on “Christmas Past and Present

  1. I haven’t read your post yet, but I intend to. I just wanted to drop you a line and ask lol if I can use your profile pic as painting subject matter? Let me know. 🙂

    Also, as someone who is also sober and has been since last May 2018, I applaud you! Sobriety is hard as hell, but honestly, I wouldn’t live my life now any other way. And I don’t think that will change anytime soon. 🙂 Cheers to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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