'Tis the Season

Before....
Dear Readers,
Mr. UT and I bought and put up our Christmas tree this past weekend, and I must say, it brings me a lot of joy.
One year, a long time ago, I just didn't feel like putting up a tree, as there are times no one sees it except us.
I never did that again.
This tree is for us to enjoy, and to honor the Christmas season.
It brings light into the gloomy December weather.

Not drinking this holiday season has been way easier than the last two.
The first year was very hard, and my feelings were all over the place.
Last year was better, but I still thought I was missing something, especially at parties.
This year, I have no desire or wish to drink.

I am finding that although I still like an occasional party, I don't need to go to a party to be happy.
After!
I like the connections with people, but I find that need taken care of in other ways.
I now like to leave parties early. 

I am ever so grateful I do not drink.
If there is ever a time that I wish I could, I think back to my life when I was drinking.
I was a mess. My depression was deep, and though not just due to drinking, it was made much worse by drinking.
I was driving drunk, putting myself and others at risk.
I would wake up and feel like a failure over and over, because I couldn't say no to wine.
Mr. UT and I would fight about how much I was drinking.
I would wake up with night sweats and so thirsty.
I had some yucky digestive problems.

One time, at a Christmas Party, I made Mr. UT take me out early so I could get some drinks before going. Then at the party, I drank a lot of red wine. I got so drunk that I threw up on the way home, all over the cute skirt I was wearing. I passed out at home.

Was that fun?
I can't drink. 
I am thankful I came to that understanding before my life was ruined. 
I am a "yet".
Many horrible things have not happened to me, due to drinking..."yet".
But if I start drinking again, all bets are off.

Today, at my AA meeting, I once again heard stories of faith, courage, and love.
It takes a tremendous amount of faith and courage to get and stay sober.
I had to have a lot of faith that I could live without drinking. Courage to speak up and get help. I had to learn to love myself, and pass along that love to other people trying to get sober. 

I now realize that I must be grateful every day that I am sober.
I can't take this for granted.
This is my life, and today I choose a life full of hope, rather than a life filled with fear.
I choose a life filled with peace, rather than one filled with turmoil.

With a Warm Heart on Day 824,
Wendy

Comments

  1. Beautifully decorated tree but a shame the legs fell off it.
    I remember Christmas last year and it was very very booze but also boring and sad because (I thought) I was on my "last" binge before quitting which ended up not being my last but it was just that awful knowing you have to stop but not being able to stop. I am glad you have no desire to drink this year, I hope it is a really lovely Christmas for you both and that any parties you attend you enjoy. The love you pass on to people is greatly appreciated here and your day count just keeps growing and proving that it can be done.

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    1. Ha ha!
      A legless tree!
      We don't get invited to many parties, thank goodness!
      But this year we have two. I will make them short and sweet!
      xo

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  2. Hi Wendy
    Thank you for this post and reminding me to be grateful. Sometimes when I am really very busy with work I forget to pause and be grateful for my continued sobriety and the freedom and joy it brings. Xx

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    1. There are several guys in my meeting that always say how grateful they are to be sober today. Made me think.
      It is such great freedom!!
      xo

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  3. I love your Christmas tree!
    I get the not wanting to bother with all the decorations. But you're right, it's important because it's for us to celebrate, regardless of who else is there with us. We are important, and we deserve it!
    Also...'my depression was deep, and though not just due to drinking, it was made much worse by drinking'. You could have been talking about me, there!
    I know drinking only makes things worse, I hope I can find some faith and courage especially over this Christmas.
    Wishing you and Mr UT all the best for crime,
    Love, waking xx

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    1. Thank you, Waking.
      All my mental issues are still with me, but much more manageable, and the medicines work now!
      They always say don't drink on many medicines, and yet everyone does.
      Now I know why they weren't working before!
      xo

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  4. Lovely message Wendy and it's so fantastic to have a manageable health problem. Mental issues are incredibly hard to manage and impossible with alcohol. Mine were not working either.... I am open to needing this if necessary down the track.

    I love the comment:
    "I am a "yet".
    Many horrible things have not happened to me, due to drinking..."yet".
    But if I start drinking again, all bets are off."

    There is no doubt where this was going to end up with me too xxx you are so lovely and conscious, staying online and helping people like me Wendy. It makes me cry thinking that you make such an effort to help when you are so far down the track.
    Thanks again xxxxxx Michelle

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle!
      I first heard the saying "I'm a yet", from Women For Sobriety.
      It is a very powerful reminder for me.
      I love helping other people, because I also help myself stay sober!
      You are so welcome!
      xo

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  5. Wow, what a fantastic post! It made me reminisce on some of my own fond shnockered memories. And I need a reminder to be grateful. I tend to forget that part of the equation.
    Thanks for sharing the journey, Wendy. ; )

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    1. You are helping many people, too!
      I can't say it enough....being grateful for all I have, is the one sure way I stay away from self-pity!
      xo

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  6. Hi Wendy,
    Really good advice about being grateful for every sober day. There really is something in the 'one day at a time' thing. Also good to question the idea that alcohol is fun. Honestly throwing up over your new skirt isn't fun and for me having to start drinking at 11 Christmas morning because I was so hung-over wasn’t fun at all! You tree looks amazing, despite the fact that it’s ‘legless’
    We have a fake tree. Maybe we'll get a real one next year. Hope you have a lovely Christmas. xxx

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    1. Thank you!
      We decided to get a real tree each year, until we are older and feeble!
      Ha!
      Or until Hubs gets tired of putting it up!
      Drinking became not fun at the end for me!
      xo

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  7. What a lovely peace of writing Wendy. Your tree looks fab.
    I too am less a lover of parties now. I like contact with people, but I also ike to go to bed early. Plus I feel uncomfortable around people who are drinking heavily....
    I don't socialise too much as my kids are still small but I guess it will become more of an issue for me at some stage, the whole party thing. I tend to avoid.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy being sober and aware!
    Love and hugs x Claire

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    1. Thank you so much, Claire!
      I also hate having to figure out what to wear!
      Luckily, we don't get invited to many..or any!
      xo

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  8. Fab tree Wendy!
    You got me thinking about parties. I used to have a busy social life, but was never a great fan of parties, although when I got there, I used to have a great time and always one of the last to leave. Actually I think that was probably just down to the amount of alcohol consumed. Nowadays I much prefer to be sober at the few parties I attend, as I know otherwise I will probably drink to much and end up being embarrassing. So liberating not to have to worry about that!
    Enjoy the festive season. KT

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    1. Me too! I used to be the last one to leave because it meant I could drink more!
      And I was plenty embarrassing at some of them.
      xo

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  9. Thank you for this post. I found you quite by accident tonight; saw a comment of yours on a Mrs D's post from November. Your name caught my eye as I'm a teacher as well.
    I'm entering my first sober Christmas; survived Thanksgiving without drinking but it felt weird. I'm hoping with several more sober weeks under my belt that Christmas will feel better.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog!
    -Jamie (Tampa)

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    1. Jamie, so glad you found me!
      Teachers work so, so hard, and there is a lot of pressure put on us.
      One of the reasons I drank was to cope with that pressure.
      I never thought I could stay sober this long, but it really is a one day at a time thing.
      It is strange at first, but it really does get better!
      xo

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  10. love your tree, so beautiful. I admit to have done next to nothing in the way of decorations. I've wrapped up presents and put them on the hearth but that's it. You are so right though, it's for us to enjoy so maybe i'll got a bit further on the decorating...have a wonderful merry Christmas full of love and laughter, silly giggles and merriment with giving.

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    1. Thank you, Gael!
      I have only a few presents this year, and no wrapping!
      Mr. UT is getting a new pair of glasses from me! He needs them!
      And he'll look cool!
      xo

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  11. Referenced your blog in my e-mail to Belle and she asked me to tell you "happy day 826"...hope I got the number right!! Small sober world 😎

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    1. Wow! Belle is amazing!! She helped me a bunch!
      Yes, that is the right number!
      xo

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  12. I love your tree, it's beautiful. I'm so glad to hear that this year is much easier for you and you have no desire at all to drink anymore. Yes that Christmas party you described did not found fun and if that's what we are misting out in then I'm happy with that. Xx

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    1. It's much better this year!
      No yucky ghost of Christmas future!!
      xo

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  13. Hi Wendy, such a great post. And what a beautiful Christmas tree! I'm so happy you are finding this year easier. I am trying to practice gratitude everyday too. It helps. A x

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    1. Thank you, Angie!
      So glad to hear from you!!
      xoxo

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  14. We are the lucky ones! We have found the light!
    And it is even brighter because we knew the darkness as well.
    You have one of the most greatful and gracious voices I have read.

    Life is too beautiful to sacrifice it to addiction.
    I love your tree. I must make the effort and put mine up this weekend...I have been slacking!

    Anne

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    1. Thank you, Anne!
      I love your wisdom and support SO much!
      I am so happy I am not drinking.
      xo

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  15. I'm so happy to hear that this festive season has been easier for you this time around. Love the tree X

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  16. I haven't put up a Christmas tree yet, but reading your post makes me want to! I'm so happy for you that this sober holiday season is easier than the past two for you, Wendy! I do think it's important to remember or reflect on how we were when we were drinking. Last year I had a large group of people over to our house right before Christmas, and I got black out drunk by about 9pm and put myself to bed apparently. I woke up the next morning bare ass naked and with no recollection of the evening before or how/when I went to bed. It still mortifies me that I could have stripped down in front of people or stumbled (naked) to the bathroom in the middle of the night while guests were still there. Yeeikes, I'm cringing just thinking about it again!

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    1. Oh, that was a tough one!
      I am so glad you are sober this season!
      And I am glad I am sober.
      We had a delightful weekend, going out eat, going to a party, shopping, the whole bit, and it was really nice!
      xo

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  17. Your blog always makes me realize, that I can also uit soda. I'm proud of your commitment!

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  18. so encouraging to hear your story. I love it when I read of long term success in sobriety. I hope to be there one day myself.

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    1. I never believed I would be here, myself!
      Sometimes I am still surprised!
      Thank you!
      xo

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  19. Just stopping by to say hey! This is post is so encouraging to me! ❤️ (girlundrunk)

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    1. Thank you so much!
      Life really can be better!
      xo
      Wendy

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  20. Hi Wendy, just wanted to wish you and Mr UT a happy new year and hope this year is filled with health wealth, happiness and joy. Thank you for being a terrific cheerleader to me and countless others this year. I hope your kindness and good deeds are rewarded a thousand fold. Big hugs Ginger

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    1. Hi Ginger!!
      Happy New Year to you!
      I guess I'd better get busy and write a new post.
      I just can't think of a topic.
      It's my perfectionism that gets in my way sometimes!
      You are so welcome, and thank you for all of your hope and inspiration!
      I am so thankful I have gotten to know you!
      xo

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    2. I second that Ginger!
      I bet you can't think of a topic Wendy because you are pretty much cured :) Well you are very positive and inspirational.
      How about this for a topic - isolation. For all those who made it through Christmas and the New Year and perhaps the relative of isolation?
      Just a thought
      Happy New year to you xxx
      Michelle

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    3. Ha! I wish I was cured!
      Well, I have plenty of other problems I'm not cured of!
      Just ask Mr. UT!
      Isolation is a great topic!
      Thank you, Michelle!!
      xo

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  21. I'm droppoing in to wish you a Happy New Year dear Wendy. I don't know if your tree's still up but it is (or was?!) a beauty! Love from The Sober Garden xx.

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    1. Happy New Year to you!!
      Yes, the tree is still up, and we still love it!
      Guess we better take it down before all the needles fall off in the house!
      Thank you, so much Sober Garden!!
      xo

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  22. Congrats on another sober holiday season!
    I find that so much of this "missing out" thing is in our heads. I find that I don't feel like I am missing out on anything - been there, done that. I know how a single drink would turn out (hint: it's NEVER a single drink! ha!) Either people get hammered or they have a few drinks and think nothing of it. That's it. The only ones who are counting or keeping track or whatnot are people who may be like us or on the way. In the end, I am thrilled to be sober. Less mess, less fuss. And I get to be present to the moment.

    Happy New year!
    Blessings
    Paul

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Paul!
      I loved reading this!
      It's all in my head!
      In fact my head is a big problem!
      (LOL)
      xo

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