I don't want to get all deep and meaningful and negative on it but I am finding myself driving around the streets at the moment looking at all the houses and thinking about all the stress that is building and all money that is being spent and all the inter-personal angst that is being dreaded and all the booze that will be sunk.
I know there are many many lovely, lucky people who are going to have smooth, trouble-free silly seasons .. but there are so many others that are going to be pushed to the limit by their mum, or get really angry at their brother, or annoyed at their friend, or worried about their sister, or sick of their dad, or so over the whole family vibe...or whatever...and so they'll drink and drink and drink...
Or maybe there'll be people who were a bit like me and drank to chase some sort of fun or happiness that I believed wasn't already in front of me. Desperately trying to reach some nirvana of joy, believing alcohol was the only thing that has the power to give it...
In the past I've found Christmas tricky, with the crush of family dynamics that comes in. Hard to step out of my comfort zone, my happy equilibrium that I've found in my own space with my own circle of people and my own routines and my own comforts and no-one around to prick my bubble.
So what did I used to do to chase the fun or ignore the undercurrents? Get boozed!!! Yeahhhhh!!! That'll help!!!! Woo hoo!!!! Wines!!! Fancy cocktails!!! Bubbles!!!! Beer? Hhhmmm... not really my drink of choice but why not!!!!!
I've got a photo on our piano of me and my Dad on Christmas day about 4 years ago. I'm wearing a pink paper hat that came out of a cracker and a lovely blue dress that cost a lot of money with a pretty broach on it. I'm leaning into my dad and he's got his arm around me. We look very happy.
Except every time I look at it I remember that this was the Christmas that I drank steadily from 8am until 9pm. I didn't fall over or vomit or slur much even (as far as I know). I just steadily drank alcohol all day, starting with champagne breakfast and never stopping.
Oh my god, honestly, thank god I stopped drinking. Really. I had a serious problem. You know, lately I've been having those thoughts 'was I really that bad?' and pangs that I don't get to drink any more... I mentally swat them away swiftly and angrily but they come at me like angry bees.
I've just got to look at that photo of me with my puffy face and remember that I was addicted to alcohol. I was totally and utterly addicted to alcohol. Quiet, steady, heavy, seemingly-functional, middle-class alcoholism. And now all I have to do is not drink and I'm ok. Hallelujah. And Merry Christmas Everyone!
Love, Mrs D xxx
(sorry this is a bit glum now that I read it back. Will write a more upbeat post before the 25th!)