The festivities are over for another year, unless of course you make a big deal about New Year, which we don’t. If I am honest I was worried about this Christmas. With a large family gathering where I thought would be the only non-drinker apart from three children aged four, seven and ten years old, I felt nervous to say the least. Ever with the alcoholic mindset, I was convinced everyone would be watching me, waiting for me to slip up.

As it happened, I was not the only non-drinker. There were a few drivers in the party as well as me, The Alcoholic. In the end, that didn’t matter.

For the toasts I had my Elderflower and White grape drink in a champagne flute. I had it in a wine glass for dinner. I didn’t feel any different to those that were drinking. I found myself genuinely enjoying the day.

Waking up a couple of times during the night to put my son back to bed during Christmas Eve without a hangover was different. Watching him open his stocking and feeling bright and fresh was a pleasure. I found his excitement rubbed off on me in a good way, rather than asking him to calm down “Because mummy has a headache and I don’t care that it is self-inflicted”.

At my family’s house, I was helping where I could instead of sitting around, doing nothing but drink prosecco and wine. I enjoyed being present and people enjoyed my being there. No one seemed to be waiting on tenterhooks for me to break down as I thought they would. I imagine that is just The Alcoholic thinking in me; assuming that everything is about me and that everyone is worried about me.

The day was every bit as chaotic and tiring as you would expect it to be with 22 people for dinner, 24 after dinner for present opening. As I reflect on the day, now I just cannot imagine how I would have got through it drinking, ending up drunk. As it is, it has taken me a few days to recover, it would have taken several more had I been drinking.

Boxing Day arrived at home, just the three of us spending the day in our PJs and I took pleasure in helping my son explore his new toys instead of languishing on the sofa, feeling sorry for myself. We played games and read stories. We relieved the day together with a lot of “Thank you for a good day” from my son.

Although I dreaded it during the build up, my first sober Christmas was amazing and I hope there are many more to come!