A Very Grateful Christmas

Glass be grateful

I am trying to switch to an attitude of gratitude for the hardest times in my life. The times that make my heart feel tender when I think about them, whether they happened yesterday or 20 years ago. Because maybe, just maybe, those things happened to teach me something.

I guess I am growing tired of playing the blame game. Everyone has a story. Some are sadder than others, but they all have tender parts. Life is a messy and difficult thing, but it is also crazy and joyous and unexpected and fun (at times…if you let it be). I turned out to be an alcoholic. While some of that has to do with my upbringing, a lot of it has to do with MY choices and MY journey. I ended up here because I needed to be here. Maybe some people are more stubborn than others and it TAKES becoming an alcoholic to get them to wake up. I don’t know. Not everyone gets the chance to learn, break free from denial, and change their lives. I have the opportunity to do so, and that means that I am going to count myself lucky.

This Christmas, I am giving myself and my family the gift of forgiveness through gratitude. Thank you, life, for putting me in the situation that I am in. Thank you for letting me experience the ups and downs that I have been through. Thank you for FINALLY allowing me to break free from drinking myself numb all the time. That is a hard damn thing to do, so feel grateful whether you are sober or trying to get there.

I have more love for myself than I used to, and I am stronger than I thought. So are you. That is something to be grateful for. Merry Christmas.

Sunny Day

I am no longer feeling angry, thank God. It didn’t last too long. Writing really helps me process and release my feelings, so I am freaking thankful that I started this blog. Back to normal and feeling happy most of the time.

I enforced boundaries with my younger brother this weekend by telling him not to visit me this holiday season because he won’t stop calling me drunk. I feel bad about it. Guilty. I think it was the right thing to do, though. Drunken phone calls from relatives really mess up my day. Especially at 8 in the morning after an all-night bender.

Enforcing boundaries in this situation caused problems with my mother, too. She was angry and hurt. Relationships are all kind of codependent in my family. We talked and worked it out, and she is going to fly here for part of the holidays instead of driving with my brother. I feel better about it now because we cleared the air by saying some things that needed to be said. Everything isn’t resolved or agreed upon- that will likely never happen- but we see each other more clearly.

And again, I feel bad that I hurt my mom, but I HAVE to do what is best for me right now. I am choosing a no stress, no drama, feel good kind of holiday season. I will work on my relationship with my brother as I grow stronger being sober. It is going to be really hard for me to be around active alcoholics for awhile, but hopefully he will gain an understanding of how serious I am because of this situation. We will see what happens, and I will hope for the best and try to be kind. I know how hard it is to be stuck in that shitty cycle of addiction. It took me a long time to break free, and I have to work at it every day.

Other than family stuff, being sober is wonderful right now. I don’t miss drinking very often because I genuinely feel GOOD most of the time. It is pretty sweet and cool and I am holding on tight to my new life. I am definitely a less social creature, though. That might change, but it might not. I think I will always be more of a one-on-one, quiet coffee date kind of girl than I used to be. I am also a pretty new mother, and I think it is all tied together. I like being home with my husband and child.

We had a nice weekend decorating our tree, doing craft projects, making homemade candies for gifts, shopping and cooking. I don’t think alcohol would have made it one iota better, and it quite possibly could have made it worse in some way. I think I have cleared the obstacles in my path (with family, mainly) to have a happy, sober holiday season, and I am totally excited about it. Happy Monday!