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What Would You Do?

Last night, we had our annual Cookies and Lights Christmas party, this is the one time a year that I get to see many people that I normally do not! And we live on a street that goes all out with the Christmas lights almost to the point that every year we all try to outdo each other. Originally the idea was to have bunch of our sober friends over and stuff ourselves with cookies and coffee! But as we have gotten to know more people outside of our sober bubble, we started inviting others too! Our invitations say: “Come see the extravagant lights and stop by our house for cookies, coffee and hot cacao!” In my mind, it is pretty clear that there will be no alcohol, nevertheless, there is always that one person that bring some over!

Last year we actually got two bottles of wine and after everyone was gone, I tried to figure out what do with them, in fear that if they hung around the house too long, they might be a huge trigger! And just putting them in the trashcan didn’t seem like enough; they needed to be GONE. I know, this is bit over the top, you’re thinking? Maybe… but even though I have a good amount of sobriety under my belt, I still don’t trust myself. Strange? Maybe… But I work too hard for my sobriety and I know that the wolfie is always there, it lurks and waits, for that one instance, I know it does!

So last year, we didn’t know what do to with the wine and hid it under the sink, and felt uneasy all night, like we had a time bomb in our house that could explode at any anytime! We finally ended up giving the bottles to my ex who just happened to be the first person we saw the next day (he was picking up our daughter).

So this year a bottle of wine sat on the kitchen counter for a bit as I didn’t know that it was there till someone pointed it out to me; I immediately put it in the cupboard. Then, in fear of having the time bomb in our house again, I gave the wine back to the person who brought it (our neighbor). As he was getting ready to leave, I handed him the bottle, thanking him profusely of course, for such a nice gift but stating, “Maybe this is a bit odd, but we don’t drink. Would you like to take the wine with you?” He looked a bit puzzled, so I assured him that I appreciated the gesture. He said thank you and that next time he will bring some fancy coffee! I told him that would be great, we love coffee!

Today I am just sitting here thinking, was all that necessary? Was that the right thing to do? What else could I have done? And of course my people pleasing side has been wondering if I hurt his feelings. Do I really need to state that it’s an alcohol free party? Because you know, this will happen again I am sure!

So anyway, here are few things that I have come up with: I still don’t want any alcohol in my house – I want my house to be safe. I want my house to be safe for other people in recovery, I want them to feel comfortable that there will not be any alcoholic or other temptations here – well, the cookies and sweets? – can’t promise that one! LOL!

I know everyone has different feeling on this subject, some people are OK with booze in their house, they are OK with cooking with wine, they maybe even OK working at a bar… although that one I just don’t get, seems like a torture! (To me it seems a bit like being on a diet; I would not be sitting in a Dunkin’ Donuts while I am trying to eat a salad!)

But really, I am wondering, when it comes to your own guests, what would/do you do?

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  1. I am only 54 days….. I think I would of heir but and re gifted. I attend a few parties over the holidays and I have 5 bottles if wine left over from a party at my house Friday. I poured out open ones. The other ones are in my garage. If I it wasn’t the holidays I would of gave the extra away. I think what ever makes you comfortable. Your guest probably understands now and if he did t who cares. Do you!


    • Well, I shouldn’t care and in the end I don’t, my sobriety is more important. But I do still have the people pleasing tendencies… I wrote this mainly to see what others are doing and how are they handling these situations. I know I cannot be trusted… one time I went to a closing for my new condo purchase and my realtor gave me a bottle of wine, I was about 4 months sober, I didn’t say anything to her, except for Thank you, and an hour later the bottle was empty and I was drunk!

      Thanks momma!


  2. When I invite people over they can bring wine or whatever they want to drink I show them where the glasses are and let them fend for themselves. When they leave, they take it with. I have not had a big party since I’ve been sober, one where people might bring wine as a gift, but I believe I would have done exactly the same thing as you, especially since it was a neighbor who you will have over again. If it had been a more random person I would have thanked them and foisted the bottle off on a friend who drinks and knows that I don’t….I think you did the right thing, and he obviously wasn’t upset. Great job, and if that’s your pretty!


    • Hi Mishedup! Thank you! Yeah, I think we did ok, the guy didn’t seem upset. I though about giving it someone too, but I wouldn’t have anyone to foist the bottle off on, I don’t really have any friends that drink… Strange, huh? It used to be exactly the opposite! LOL!


  3. Your approach to the situation as described is not only courteous but commendable as well. I appreciate your inclusiveness by not openly discouraging others preferences but you properly nipped the alcohol bug in the bud by addressing your gift giving neighbor earnestly and respectfully. Now having a clearer picture of your family he is certain to not repeat the, for lack of a better word, mistake. As the situation rises in the future, if it does at all, your approach removes the discomfort of, hopefully, all involved and anyone who you would want in your life will understand and be happy to comply. Also, I don’t blame you for not wanting to even store the alcohol in your house. Something I have heard a thousand times is if you hang around a barbershop long enough you are bound to get a haircut.
    Congratulations on your continued sobriety and best wishes for your future.


    • Thank you Glenn!
      LOL! I have heard that one too, and here in the city they say if you hang around a hot dog cart long enough, you’re bound to get a hot dog!

      I think it all really boils down to protecting my sobriety and being honest with myself. In my mind, I am no longer willing to fight the beast. It is what it is, and I know the outcome thru the many years trying to prove to myself that I can will him away. I don’t to that anymore. I just do what’s necessary for me to continue my sobriety, because without it, I wouldn’t be able to have these fun sober parties!


  4. I think you handled the situation beautifully, and much better than anything I could come up with! I have only hosted one large gathering in sobriety, there was alcohol, but I knew there would be, and my husband removed it as soon as the party was over. Dealing with unexpected alcohol is a lot more challenging, and you rose to that challenge! Thanks for sharing this story, and helping us all in our recovery, Maggie!


    • Hi Josie! Thank you for the kind words. Yes, it’s totally different when I am expecting alcohol to be present. But those unexpected times… different animal all together. Lol. I really getting convinced that most people don’t care, I am pretty sure that most of the fear stems from our own insecurities. I always. Worried so much about people thinking that I was strange Or lame because I don’t drink, but I am finding out that, again, most people just don’t care – which sure makes things easier! Thanks for stopping by, hope you’re staying warm.: )


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