Thursday, December 20, 2012

The silly season...

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!)


  1. Merry Christmas Mrs D!!! The holidays stress me out, but they also fill me with joy. The good with the bad as they say :) I hope you have a really enjoyable holiday!

  2. You just described my Christmas drinking to a T. Just a few days ago I was lamenting not "getting" to do that this year. What a nightmare.

  3. "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..."

    Perfectly articulated!

    I love this post. Alcohol is so ridiculous.

  4. I'm finding that sobriety is so liberating in the fact that when someone tries to "prick your bubble" you don't ignore it or laugh it off or even cause a just confidently assert yourself and the party continues. They have more respect for Mrs. D. now.

  5. I am thankful to have your blog and others to read for encouragement. I have attempted sobriety several times since I was in my 20s' almost 41 I am sitting here with a horrible hangover and a bruised side from slipping and am thinking how I can't wait for New Years so I can resolve to stop drinking again. The most recent stint of sobriety lasted just short of a year and it was the best year of my adult life. Why am I waiting for the new year? Now would be nice.

    1. Oh Anon I am you. Since I was in my 20's, I too, knew I needed to quit. I finally took the leap and found a group to keep me accountable and just reached 90 days on Tuesday. I am 43. This is the first time I've ever gone 90 days without saying "oh to hell with it, pass the wine/Prosecco/beer/dirty martini." If I can do it at 43, you can too! To wake up each day without feeling sick makes me elated/proud of myself/relieved/grateful. Every single day. Go for it!!
      Thank you Mrs D for this blog.

  6. Tisn't glum Mrs D - it's inspiring. You are inspiring. Wishing you a happy, wonderful sober season which you know will be so much happier for having found your way to being sober. x

  7. "trying to reach some nirvana of joy, believing alcohol was the only thing that has the power to give it" Wow like the other poster...this is so well said and so hits home with me too. This was my belief too - and still is at annoying unexpected times (ugh). Never have achieved that nirvana - quite the opposite! Wonderful XMas wishes to you Mrs. D...SO appreciate you and your words! xx

  8. Christmas Eve was my worst day of drinking. It was socially acceptable to drink all day, and by late afternoon I'd be struggling with a complicated dinner and a complete drunken mess. Travel on Christmas day was painful at best, and I can't remember enjoying anything about those couple of days. There was no real joy, only enduring. I don't know if this year will be as I hope (expectations are a bitch), but I am looking forward to fixing a nice dinner with my wits about me and getting up the next morning and being present for my kids and family in a way I couldn't be when I drank. It does feel really good, thanks for the reminder.

  9. Mrs D, this didn't seem glum...As always you hit the nail right on the head. I'm so glad we get to both go through the holidays sober. I'm so glad not to have all that mental anguish going through my head...plain and simple...No Alcohol. Soooo freeing! Let's see...oh wow...up to Day 83 now!!! Yay me! You are the best Mrs D!!!

  10. Great minds! i just posted a post along the same lines and it came to the same conclusion: The holidays are much easier to deal with sober than drunk. i realized a lot of the stress i was drinking to avoid was caused by all of my drinking!!

  11. I really am so glad I stopped drinking. That will always be the best present I could ever give myself--the gift of sobriety.

    Merry Christmas Mrs. D!

    ~ Christy

  12. You always know what to write right when I need to read it.

  13. Happy Holidays, Mrs. D! Thank you for your inspiring blog. I am a 40+ Mom of 3 and since finding your blog in August, I've managed to string together two 30+ days of sobriety. Hoping to string together so many more. I can totally relate to the holidays as being a time when it's ok to drink all day. Not get pass out drunk, but start with champange, turn to wine and maybe end with a cordial. These past 2 days on our "Winter Break" I spent the days with my kids shopping, running errands and stopping for a Chocolate Mocha coffee, instead of a Chardonney. I feel good and ready to face the holidays sober, what a change, but also sad and have regrets about all the time I wasted in the wine-induced fog. Thank you Mrs. D for your wonderful blog. Best wishes for a great 2013!