Sober at Christmas, Suffering is Optional


Fifteen years ago, the home we live in, to this day, was very different. Hubby and I had met just a few short weeks shy of Christmas, 2002. The apartment was dirty white. There were over 300 beer bottles to return on the lanai. The tv, was a small black and white set, that had foil rabbit ears and hardly worked. We had no stereo system. We had no furniture, and we had no money either.

That Christmas hubby was going home to see his parents, I was living in Verdun, on the backside of the Island, in a basement apartment that I hated. Hubby handed me a set of keys and invited me to stay here.


Our first Christmas together was a sad affair. Like I said above, we had no money. We didn’t even have a Christmas tree. And no presents to speak of. We had each other. That fateful pass through a door at St. Leon’s was fate, tempting us.

Fast Forward, fifteen years to 2017 … The tree we have, is the first tree we bought together at Christmas Number Two. 2003. The ornaments have changed, over the years, and the apartment surely has changed as well.

We Painted, Cleaned, Scrubbed, Bleached and Sterilized the apartment. We have new furniture that we finally could afford after many, many years. We have a flat screen HD tv, with a stereo surround sound system my in-laws bought us, a number of years ago.

We keep things simple. Because God likes simple. That is the way He fed us. SIMPLY.

If a holiday falls on a meeting night, where ever that meeting might be located, if it is possible, that particular room is open. And usually, I have keys to that particular basement hall, anyways. We have always hosted friends for dinner over the years. This year, I changed up my game, and dis-invited the Queers. And Invited my friend Juan and his fiancée for Christmas dinner on Wednesday evening.

We are doing the “Couples” thing together.

Tonight we hosted Monday Central at Notre Dame de la Salette, up on Parc Avenue. If the room is open, people will come. Thirty odd folks came for the meeting. Several of them were suffering through their first Christmas sober.

Christmas Sober is a gift … Suffering is Optional.

Many of my friends don’t listen to a single word I say to them.

I can tell you that a handful of my friends, (well fellows) who have my number don’t use it, yet they show up where ever I show up. And many of them are addled. And many of them are not yet ready to admit that their suffering is getting on their nerves. And I quietly sit in a meeting, and I listen to them talk about suffering and IF ONLY, they would just get it over with and ask for help …

Nobody wants to ask for help. And I am sure as shit not going to volunteer to help them. I gave out my number and said one thing … Call Me … My phone still does not ring.


A number of our young people are away. So whomever was still here, was at the meeting tonight. Several of them were suffering through their First Christmas Sober.

All I could say was … It Does Get BETTER … Stick around.

Make it easy, show up and do service. THAT will definitely keep you sober.

Putting the needs of another before your own, will show you sobriety from a totally different angle. We heard this bit of advice tonight from one of our young women.

Our young people suffer needlessly. Many of them have been around a while, testing the proverbial sober water to see if it is pure. A handful of them tonight, admitted to the rest of us, that when they finally admitted they had a problem, and gave the fellowship a fair shake, and they committed to doing to work as they were told to do by the rest of us, that life definitely GOT BETTER.

People who HATED Christmas, who have kids, who gave in and put up their trees FOR their KIDS, because Christmas is about the KIDS and not necessarily about US, and are in their Second sober Christmas, having kicked and screamed through their first one, see the wisdom of relenting and putting the needs of their kids before their own.

Christmas does not SUCK sober.

We are a family of people who really care about each other, care enough to open a room and make coffee, (tonight we brought it in from Timmies). People are just floored that someone they barely know, but see at meetings, care enough to give their very best on Christmas Night, just because … of them …

We share a common bond as people who would NOT normally mix.

Alcoholism is an equal opportunity taker and does not discriminate.

The fact is this, there is a room, full of people like you, working the same program of simple work, however complicated you make it.

Just Show Up …

A Perfect Montreal Christmas


The weather people define a Perfect Christmas, as 2cm of snow on the ground, and snow falling from the sky, together. Last night, there was more than 2cm of snow on the ground when it began to snow again. Snow fell all night and into dawn, this morning.

There is a good amount of snow on the ground, as the snowfall wrapped up around 8am this morning. I had been up since about 6am because I had enough sleep, so I got up and watched some videos and made some breakfast, while hubby slept further.

All of my friends are in other places for the holiday. With all the travel delays and weather problems over the past few days, everybody made it to their destinations without a hassle.

Neither hubby nor myself had a very big Christmas list. We agreed that we really did not need anything expensive or huge numbers of presents. We kept it simple. I had shopped for hubby and he was pleased with the clothes I got him, some dress shirts for work and a new pair of cozies.

All I wanted was a 2 TB external hard drive for my computer, which is what he got me, along with a few odds and ends for the house. We are hosting a Christmas dinner party on Wednesday. So a few little bits and pieces did the job.

My in-laws spent a pretty penny on HSBC gift cards, in lieu of cash we usually get. However, I think that they went overboard with gift cards, when we really could have used some cash on the ground until hubby gets paid in two days, because money is tight.

Hubby is cooking a late lunch, and I am hosting a meeting at Monday Central at 8pm tonight. The church allowed us to keep the room open over the holidays. On Holiday Open Meetings are important. Because at some point, we need to get out of the house, so a meeting is very useful to the many.

The Holiday was a success.

More to come.