xmas table 2_edited

My blogging friend of long standing, adinparadise, tagged me in her ‘Simple Pleasures’ post. I saw her tag comment minutes after reading the news about the tragedy that recently occurred in Connecticut and my thoughts were turned to the things I can be grateful for in the face of the sadness that those families are experiencing during this, the first festive season without their loved ones. I can’t begin to imagine how life continues after you have had to bury a child. I am estranged from my own daughter and my grief knows no limits, but I thank God every day that she is a healthy, beautiful and grounded young woman.

candle for connecticut
So, I turn to counting my blessings and looking for the simple pleasures that come with being alone at Christmas. Small things such as the unadulterated luxury of having as much time as I like to enjoy a pedicure, while playing loud, trashy music to sing along to.

pedicure time

The freedom to meet a friend for lunch and have no curfew.


Eating my supper outside, early and not worrying that it’s not a balanced meal. Mushrooms are vegetables, after all.

mushy steak

And through the grief and abjectly lonely moments, I have the support of my friends in AA; my sponsor – who will drop everything and come to me if I only say the word, those who call or email regularly and those who have made sure I have somewhere to be on Christmas Day.
“See, alcoholism is exactly like bubble gum. You know when you blow a bubble and it bursts, some of the gum sticks to your chin?”
Small, tentative laughter.
“What’s the only thing that gets the bubble gum off your chin?” she asks.
Sometimes I will chew grape bubble gum because it stinks and hides the smell of alcohol. I answer, “Bubble gum. You have to take the gum out of your mouth and press it against the gum on your chin and it’ll pick it up.”
Rae beams. “You’ve got it.”
Slam dunk. I am on the road to recovery.
“Only an alcoholic can treat another alcoholic. Only other alcoholics can get you sober.”
From ‘ Dry. A memoir.’ By Augusten Burroughs.
And then there are my blog friends. To you all I, I wish you a happy festive season and thank you for your support during the highs and lows of the past year.

xmas table

60 Comments Add yours

  1. mikibee100 says:

    I know what you are talking about Cin, without the support of my family and friends I would also be faltering this Christmas. There is a good side to alcoholism, we get through the other side

    1. theonlycin says:

      Lots of love and light to you, Michelle, and good luck xxx

  2. matron says:

    You look beautiful Cin,love your hat! As for your daughter,she will come around,its just that we don’t have the patience,enjoy your christmas lunch 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Matron. As for my daughter … we can all only keeping hoping and praying.

  3. Pussycat44 says:

    A very happy Christmas to you and your friends, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Right back at you, Pussycat, thank you xxx

  4. A lovely, poignant post, Cindy.

    I wish you health and happiness and the best Christmas you can manage.


    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Tilly, lots of good cheer to you and yours. Hope you get lots of Maltesers. xxx

  5. footsy2 says:

    Strength to you OC and may 2013 bring you every thing you wish for.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Same to you, thanks Footsy xxx

  6. Hotly Spiced says:

    Wishing you the very best of Christmases and I’m so pleased to hear you have several invitations of places to be. I do hope the estrangement from your daughter is for a finite period of time. xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      So do I, HS, it’s been over a year now, so my hope is fast waning. All the best for your Christmas xxx

  7. Sparkle says:

    Merry Xmas the Only Original Cin!!
    Do you have a bath tub in your cottage or the shower only? I like that thingikie(stand) in the showr.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I only have a shower, Sparky, and really miss having a bath. The thingikie *smile* is something I’ve owned for more years than I can remember. Merry Christmas to you 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      And a hug to you too, thanks Carina. xxx

  8. Mbini says:

    Here’s to counting blessings and to a 2013 filled with laughter and joy Cin. I love the bath.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Mbini, I love the bath too. Believe it or not, I fit in it perfectly 🙂

  9. colonialist says:

    2012 seems to have been a particularly trying year for so many I know – and of course the USA thing is simply unimaginable.
    Hopefully, the next year will produce far better things.
    Have a super Christmas!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, you too, Col xxx

  10. suzicate says:

    We must always remember to count our blessings. Love and hugs to you, Cindy. Merry Christmas.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Merry Christmas to you too, Suzicate ❤

  11. adeeyoyo says:

    I think all the challenges we face in life are to help us grow. We should accept them and overcome or work with them if we can. Be understanding to your daughter as she also has challenges to come to terms with. I say this from my experiences. Have a wonderful Christmas, Cin. I’ll be thinking of you, my dear.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, adee, Christmas blessings to you. xxx

  12. My Walking Buddy whose daughter was killed two years ago is experiencing her first sober Christmas. The feelings that are bubbling for her are raw, rampant and real scary – no alcohol to drink them down. She faced her family in a courageous gesture of being true to herself and told them she would be doing Christmas on her own, in her own home…no more plastic smiles.

    She and I are conspiring joy. We’re considering a walk through our village on Christmas Day to absorb the unique, uncanny and indescribable Christmas Day energy in an empty, silent village. It’ll be like extended early morning energy. Clean, uncluttered and endless peace that radiates from heartprints left after the rush of community.

    Yes, Christmas can a terrifically challenging times for many. Losses magnify and shout our names. No one intends it to be so!

    I really love you, Cin, and all you have accomplished. You are such a promise to others.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Amy, I love you too. Very, very much. ❤

  13. slpmartin says:

    Cindy… here’s hoping that the new year brings you much joy…oh and you do look lovely in your festive hat…Take good care my friend.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Charlie, best wishes to you for 2013. It can only be better than 2012 has been for many. xxx

  14. Tandy says:

    Be strong my friend and take each moment at a time!

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll try. Thanks for your love and support. ❤ ❤ ❤

  15. Many happy and peaceful Christmas wishes for you Cindy. I am ever hopeful of happy and positive outcomes – sending healing love and energy for a reconciliation with your daughter.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Mandy, have a blessed Christmas.

  16. I am still SO proud of you my dear friend.
    Wish we lived closer.
    Have a wonderful, peaceful Xmas.
    Love you to bits.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope to visit you next year. Love and miss you xxx

  17. Jamie Dedes says:

    Dearest Cindy ~ Have a wonderful day, a wonderful season, and may the new year bring unexpected joys. Be as well as you can.


    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Jamie, the new year can only be more joyful than this one has been. xxx

  18. nrhatch says:

    Despite all the boulders tossed into your path this year . . . boulders that you had to climb over, dig under, or walk around . . . you are HERE in the NOW.

    You made it! Keep taking it an inch at a time. 😀

    1. theonlycin says:

      That’s what I aim to do, Nancy xxx

  19. Granny Blossom says:

    May all the sweet magic of Christmas conspire
    To gladden your hearts and fill every desire.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Blossom, and it’s lovely to have you visit my blog. xxx

  20. bluebee says:

    Here’s to the highs outweighing the lows in the new year, Cin. Merry Christmas to one dainty lady with balls!! 🎅🐝

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks bluebee, wish your blog would like me and let me comment again. Merry Christmas xxx

  21. Happy Christmas, Cindy. Hope your day had its moments of pleasure. Take care!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Kate, the people who were with me made it special.

  22. Mal says:

    Have a most wonderful festive season, dear Cindy, and may 2013 bring you much health, happiness and peace. May you continue to delight us with your entertaining blog posts.. Stay as beautiful as you are. YOU are fantastic! Hugs xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      *blush* Thank you, Mal, what a nice thing to say *heart*

  23. Hope you fully enjoy 2013 Cin, its going to be a good year 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I believe that too, Hope, may 2013 be kind to you 🙂

  24. Tammy says:

    All the best to you Cin on your amazingly courageous journey! Blessings in 2013.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Blessings to you too, Tammy. xxx

  25. dearrosie says:

    This post is the reason I started following you: its honest and brave. As others mentioned you’ve gone through the hardest part, next year will be clear sailing…
    I love the photo of you in your chapeau!

    I thought of you on Christmas day Cindy. I hope you managed to go on a hike.
    much love

    1. theonlycin says:

      I didn’t hike, Rosie, but I plan to do so tomorrow. New, fresh start 🙂 All the best for 2013. xxx

      1. dearrosie says:

        Happy New Year Cin. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just take short walks to start with.

      2. theonlycin says:

        That’s what I had in mind 🙂

  26. Dee says:

    I hope you have a wonderful new year,full of hope and peace. We all have losses, but that of losing a child, I cannot even imagine.

  27. adeeyoyo says:

    Happy Birthday, Cindy, for yesterday. May the year ahead flow more smoothly than the last. ♥

    1. theonlycin says:

      Love you lots too xxx

  28. Whether you are an occasional chewer or a non-stop chomper, bubble gum chewing is bad for your teeth and is generally unattractive. Make a few behavioral changes and kick the bubble gum habit for good.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I liked this spam so much, I decided to allow it.

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