My best present of all this year: deciding not to drink and sticking to it despite a moment of almost slipping. Luckily I voiced my thinking to my husband, who gently told me, “no. You will feel nothing but angst later if you drink, and I don’t want to see that happen to you.” Wise words and they were enough to set me straight. How I needed to hear that from someone other than myself in order to kick back into my normal brain and remember what it is I’m up to.
The day was peaceful. With my in-laws it’s always relaxing and fun but this year it was peaceful in my head too… I noticed at dinner when the rest of the table had wine (there were 6 of us total and I was the only one abstaining), they poured one bottle between the five of them (one glass each), and everyone slowly sipped it during the meal. When my mother-in-law casually asked everyone later if anyone wanted, “tea, coffee, more wine?”, I noticed that had I been drinking I would have felt anxiety about desperately wanting more wine but waiting to see if anyone else was having more and/or being self-conscious about being the only one who wanted more. When we were done with dinner, most of the wine glasses had a little wine left in them. I marveled. And I also felt totally free from that obsession. I definitely kind of wanted some, but I noticed that I was happier and calmer without the distraction of needing more.
After 6 hours of family, I was tired and felt the need for some down time, and luckily for my my husband was ready to go too… we came home and curled up with our books and our dogs and I had some tea. I can’t help but remember where I was a year ago, stuck in the cycle I’m now still trying to break, having gotten 20-some days, then broken it, then gotten another seven, then broken it over the Christmas holiday and drank for a week straight, but then had a sober New Years… but that pattern continued ALL through 2014. Despite that, it has been an amazing year, a beautiful year, but also most definitely a year of self-discovery and if I have learned anything, it’s that it’s time to see what a year feels like without alcohol, and that self-imposed rules are not working for me. Here’s hoping that I can make this time stick and that 2015 is the year that I’ll be writing on Christmas having a whole year of sobriety under my belt.