We don’t have a lot of “traditions” in my family but we definitely have some Christmas ones. Christmas Eve in particular. On Christmas Eve we do the following:
- Head to the mall to people watch. The hubs started this many years ago when he would shop for all his gifts on Christmas Eve. Drove me batshit. Now we go to enjoy the decorations, feel the spirit and watch the panic.
- Bake cookies and watch “A Christmas Story”. Ralphie and I have been hanging out for a number of years now. I love that kid.
- Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” late in the evening with hot chocolate. Only M will watch with me, B and W never got into it, but I love that at least one of my boys has embraced what has been a personal tradition for 30 years. I’ll cry at the end (I always do) and the kids will go to bed right after so that Santa will come and deliver gifts.
I was never much of a drinker on Christmas Eve because my father always ruined holidays. I made it a very specific point NOT to repeat that behavior. The last few years of my drinking, however, I drank a bottle of wine or so before bed and woke up with a hangover – not my best moment for sure.
Year one of sobriety I was high on being sober for almost a year. Still on my pink cloud I floated around, spent too much money and let everyone who would listen know that I had been sober almost one whole year. I was a little annoying but everyone was very gracious about it. After all, it was a damn site better than drunk and/or hungover. Oh, and I ate a lot of sugar.
Year two…flat. By then I was sober but not recovering. I was looking around and wondering, “Is this it?” “Is this what I have to look forward to?” I wasn’t regretting my sobriety, quite the contrary, I was ecstatic that I was going on two full years. I was just…bored. Restless. Not content. Little did I know how dangerous this frame of mind could be. No chance I was going to drink but I wasn’t exactly in love with my new lifestyle either.
In January I’ll have three years and oh what a difference a year makes. This year I began to truly recover. I uncovered lots of different rocks, looked closely at the crap underneath and, most importantly, let go and forgave. I let go of a lot of shit that had been tying me to a world of resentment and forgave everyone, including myself (okay…I’m still working on this one), that put me there. In the process I found what has become the most miraculous revelation of all…I found peace.
The dialog in my head finally quieted, the hole in my soul began to heal and fill with love, the restlessness disappeared and contentment moved in. I found a semblance of bliss I had never imagined.
I still have my moments. I get pissed, weepy, needy, irritable…you know, all those woman (whatever) things. But the difference is that I just deal. I feel the feelings, I share what needs to be shared (well – when I’m pissed I probably over share…just ask my family), and I…let…go.
Now I find myself excited about my sobriety again. No longer flat. No more discontentment. Restless only when I’ve missed some yoga practices. Open to hearing God without the brick…um…mostly anyway. Looking forward to a new year and my third Christmas and New Year’s Day without a hangover (damn I love that).
Merry Christmas everyone. May you find peace in your soul and joy in your heart this Christmas and always.