After the Party’s Over……

I. Did. It. I really friggin’ did it! Got through not one, not two, but – THREE major holidays without booze! I’m so relieved and happy and serene and proud. Very, very proud of myself.

Christmas was pretty easy, since we have an A/F brunch here for our kids and grandchildren. It’s always been dry, so no biggie.  Christmas night at my sister’s has been dry for several years now, since there are a couple of other family members who have/had issues with alcohol.

New Year’s Eve we went to my husband’s favorite restaurant.  I was DD and had my lovely club soda with lime and a splash of cranberry. Hubs had a drink before dinner and glass of wine with.  It didn’t bother me at all.  Looking around the restaurant, it did seem like most people were imbibing.  I do have that kind of ‘drink counter’ in my brain. (That’s his third beer!  Her second wine!)

Then we came home and watched “Gone Girl” and then Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin until midnight. There was no need to toast 2015 with a beverage, just sweet kisses and a few tears shared over how incredibly lucky and blessed we are.  All of our kids are happy, healthy, and whole, and live within a half an hour of us. The three precious granddaughters they’ve given us have brought so much light and laughter. We are incredibly fortunate.

New Year’s Day brings demons to exorcise. We traditionally host my husband’s family for a get-together and, especially the past two years, I had waaaaay too much to drink.  It doesn’t matter if another soul noticed; I know what was going on in my brain.  I privately swore two years ago that I would NEVER drink that much again. Riiiiiight. Another promise broken to myself. Before everyone came over I had some moments of real stress trying to figure out how best to accommodate 15 people in our small house.  My husband jokingly suggested that a glass of wine might help.  We had a good laugh and a big hug and then he talked me off the ledge. We figured everything out and I calmed right down. My panicky feelings passed and I was fine.

There was one moment – maybe a total of a full second – when my son was reaching into the fridge for a beer and I heard the bottles rattle together.  I had the fleeting thought, “A beer sounds GREAT right about now.” And it passed, just as quickly.  Quite honestly, in retrospect it seems more of a reflex than an authentic thought.

My favorite moments of the afternoon were when I was teaching my 11 year old niece and 4 year old granddaughter a hand-clapping game from my childhood.  I sat on the floor with them, cross-legged and laughing.  My adult son peeked his head in the doorway and I could see him taking a mental snapshot of his little girl, giggling helplessly at her Grandma. I could see the love and pride in his eyes and felt the same emotions myself, knowing that as I look back on all of the mental snapshots I took yesterday, I’ll see a sober, present woman who truly enjoyed herself and her family.  Free of heart, clear of mind and conscience.

I wish anyone who reads this the same kind of peace of mind and serenity. It is so, SO worth the effort to stay sober.

Bring it on, 2015! I’ve never been readier or more excited for a new year.

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