Jesus H Christ…New Year’s Eve was difficult for me. You’d think after a year of sobriety it wouldn’t, but it was. My hubby’s birthday also happens to be New Year’s Day so we have always celebrated the occasion on NYE. In the past it was a frolicking good time, with gallons of alcohol consumed by yours truly. Not this year. Nope I’ve given up the booze. 450 something days without…but who’s counting? December 31 began with a pallor mid-morning, already dreading a night full of drinks for everyone but me. Like, everyone in the entire world. All countries, all peoples. Sobriety can make you feel alienated and different, but never so much as beloved drinking holidays such as NYE. Champagne toasts, wine goblets, buckets of backyard beers…not for me. If you sense a hint of romanticism or nostalgia, I won’t disagree. It’s there. I’m waiting for the years, days, hours to accumulate before I can not miss alcohol during times like a much anticipated holiday like NYE. That part of my brain hasn’t died yet. Maybe it will never. And that knowledge scares me a bit. I don’t want to feel so out of touch with humankind as I did a few nights ago. I just couldn’t associate with anyone. I mean, obviously we all have similarities and the things that unite us as a species and one of those really is a celebration in which alcohol can be an addition to the party. In fact, some would say without it, it ain’t a party at all. Yes, I’m grieving. That’s the word for what I feel. What I felt Dec. 31 was grief and my ‘otherness”. It was harsh but I pushed through and all I can tell you, my sober friends, is that I am a goddam Viking. I mean really. The courage and inner strength required to “have a good time” or give the appearance of such, in times of sober struggle, is remarkable and I did it. How did I do it? I asked God, HP, to please help me get thru the night. Let my hubby have a good birthday and a good time with his friends and mine. I asked, and thanked, and reminded myself of who I am. I am not only an alcoholic. I am many other things that are important: I am strong, kind, intelligent, creative, giving, funny, witty, valiant, and brave. I’m not proud in the way braggarts may rattle off entitlements. No this is a far more profound experience than pride. I have realized a strength I never knew existed in me. It gives me hope. It fills me up with rich gratitude for Whoever graced me with it. Sober NYE 2013 was fucking hard, but I did it. I did it without drinking. I allowed others to enjoy their time together. I didn’t do this by myself. Some force blasted into me, giving me superhuman ability and power. That I needed to survive the night. I danced to Madonna. I really did. And Prince. How is that possible without a drink in your hand? I’m finding out every day. I pray you can find out for yourself as well. God bless and Happy New Year.