9+12 – happy new year, to seeing clear

23:45. I went outside tonight, I made the time. The tree was there, the sky quite pale for night, the moon, nearly full, gleaming through the slightest fog and the black branches… were they really black?… not quite; I could see the grain of the bark, even from some metres away…

I often don’t make the time. I guess I’m afraid I won’t feel that connection I once felt so deeply. This time I was honest about that. I stood there on the step, feeling nothing but tiredness, and I admitted forlornly to the dead-seeming tree,

“I don’t feel it anymore…”

and then came the guilt-ridden words…

…”because I wrote about it.”

I meant the connection with the tree.

But writing never hurts. Not for me anyway… and not for so many of us… rather, it’s a release. What I’d really meant was, “because I *published* about it.”  In certain cases, publishing about things doesn’t always feel better. It’s tricky.

And then, immediately, I felt it… that sense of connection… and I realized again the obvious, that the tree could be anything, or anyone, really… I could be speaking to the moon, or to another person, or to the page, or to myself… but if I spoke the truth, about whatever was aching in that moment, I would get the connection tingles… and that would enliven me and charge me with spiritual electricity, that hit of utter unconditional love and acceptance, for whatever I needed to do, just to continue for another evening, another day.

Dear friends, I’m sorry I’ve been a bit MIA, some stressful money-and-time-related things going on in life… but nothing that won’t someday be overcome, or at least different… my husband and I keep saying to ourselves, “this too shall pass.” And we’re all in good health, knock on wood; that’s a major blessing.

I did actually write a post and published it on New Years’ (and my thanks go out to the two readers who immediately responded to it); but I wrote it in a despondent moment, and with several interruptions, and at at time when I shouldn’t have bothered trying to blog at all…. and in the end didn’t want to discourage anyone with its slightly depressed and confusing tone… so then unpublished it very shortly afterwards, also so I could just not worry about the post and it’s possible positive or negative effects, and instead try to enjoy the evening with the family.

Just after that, I read a post from a friend… it was so depressed, and though I was sad for them, I was also sad *with* them, and thus so grateful to them for sharing it, since it made me feel connected in some way… so kudos for those braver and more eloquent than I… NYE can be such a lonely time, such a time of expectation, often unfulfilled.

I think that’s okay though…

Especially when we make it through, sober. ;))  I remember so many drinking NYE’s that were just as disappointing in whatever way… and then the next day, that “oh-shit-what-did-I-do/say” to deal with as well.

This NYE, after I made the post private, and became determined to be bright and cheerful for the kids, I made the traditional new years’ treats, and just after that I we fulfilled my wish to go onto the street at the stroke of 12, to bang pots and pans with wooden spoons, and hear distant fireworks, and the church bells, and it was really lovely… and now the kids will remember this.

I also did a small epiphany celebration this year, for the first time, as per local custom. Gâteau du rois — the youngest got the fêve, so no tears were shed. Hoorah for cake… but not so much for crowns; that gold-paper head-fence got ripped, in the monkeys’ fight for the throne. So much like in the big world, lol…

So, here’s to a beautiful new year, seeing clear, and not through rosé tinted glasses, at the present time, at least.

And though I haven’t set any resolutions, I might just try to tackle the resolutions I set and failed at last year… they weren’t too hard, after all. And one of them I have nearly achieved, though it will be nearly three months later than I hoped… to remain alcohol-free for one full year.

On second thought, nope, not committing to anything; I believe that’s how I failed the first time… self-sabotage is an issue for me. Instead, I’ll continue just the way I’ve made it this far, this time around… “one day at a time.” And I’ll be grateful for what we’ve achieved, because yes, it has been hard at times… and yet, as it turns out, “we can do hard things.”

Sending love, and gratitude for all of your support, since it’s truly the “we” that makes all the difference… ❤️ 🎉 🙌

xoxo nadine/stl


9 months and 12 days, alcohol-free, 2020-02-08



25 thoughts on “9+12 – happy new year, to seeing clear

  1. N, Self-sabotage used to be a big thing for me too. Always waiting for “the other shoe to drop” was terrible. Luckily, over time with lots of patience and in gaining confidence in myself, I feel like I’ve nearly conquered that “defect” within. It still creeps up now and again, but I’m able to recognize it and push that little beast away because it had kept me from pushing myself into being uncomfortable and learning something new.
    I have no doubt that you’ll be able to push that little monster away too.
    Sending love and good vibes,
    Monsy 🤓🤓🤓🤓

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ❤️💖🙌Thanks Monsy 😘😘😘 means a lot. Either that or hug it close. ;)) Oh and more sleep! Actually that was the answer from the tree. Forgot to mention that. But here look at me. 01:43. Crazy. Nighty night (happy day to you :)), off to dreamland I finally go. 🌔☀️😴🎉😇


  2. Our feelings are valid, both up and down times!
    The holidays are hard for so many people. We had a quiet night; dinner another couple at their house. Home by 10!
    Good to here from you, ST!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that you say that about feelings… in fact that’s been another mantra the past few days… “I am allowed to feel all things. It’s if and how I act on them, that counts.”

      Sounds like a lovely new year’s, Wendy. I definitely had a hard time keeping everyone here up ’till 12. ;))) xoxoxoxo


  3. Yes the tree is symbolism. But the tree is real too. You thought you’d shared the tree’s soul and somehow damaged it. Instead you had opened both your souls.

    It wasn’t until this particular post that I realised that I too have a tree, one in the neighbour’s backyard that I find comfort in. A gigantic pohutukawa tree. It is old, wise with wide stretching branches. it looks magnificent at night as well as day. It’s foliage isn’t dense, it lets both the day and the night sky through. I look up at at it mid sentence, get distracted and get back to writing. It makes me lift my head literally and figuratively.

    Enjoy your day. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  4. For some reason, this post brought to mind the many times during this year ( of sobriety) i have been astonished at not so much what ‘has’ changed in me as with what hasn’t changed. Even without the alcohol, i really was the same person. I still had bouts of self doubt, insecurity, indecision, and self sabotaging. I was still basically melancholy ( even though i aspire NOT to be) i still react sometimes out of emotions i am having at that moment( regretting them later) and i still have days where i just want to give up.It’s just who i am and i have had to come to accept certain aspects of myself that will always just “be” and to stop fighting them. Instead i am learning to redirect energy towards the things i CAN realistically change. My theory is that over time the things i change in that way will directly and indirectly affect the ones that are impossible for me right now. Sorry if this seems to have little to do with the intent of your post, but something about that “tree”and the changing perspectives, etc…hugs!!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ah the doubts we have about posting the negative feelings, yet we all encourage each other to do so because we know it’s important for many reasons. I almost deleted my recent post in fear it was dull and boring but decided I need to sit with those insecurities if I am to progress.

    Feeling disconnected and disengaged is something I have struggled with for over two years now and I hate it. I don’t have a ‘tree’ .. I feel I should find myself one to enable me to ‘connect’ when I’m finding myself alone and anchorless (I know that’s not a word but it’s how I feel sometimes!).
    So good to read your post
    Love and hugs
    Claire xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Your comment is spot on, about the doubts vs encouragement… speaking of which, I just read your recent post and it was certainly not dull and boring. Very relevant and relatable. You’re brave for sharing it and resilient for staying sober through hard times. Warrior on, mama. ❤️

      As for trees, maybe find one whose appearance resonates with you… and then just exude gratitude towards it and see if it “talks” back when you tell it your truths… there was one at our last home too, much smaller than this one, just a beautiful happy little evergreen… I believe the “guardian angel” spirit moves, as we do… I like trees… but it could be anything.

      Thank you so much for your time and kind words… means a lot.
      xoxox n

      Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s so good to hear from you Nadinee ❤ Somehow I was able to read your New Year's post when it was already down and loved it 🙂 It was real and raw and not depressing at all: real is always the best. I'm sending a ton of hugs and strength and motivation for the rough patch you are going through yet have already so wisely put in perspective with your husband. Also, this moved me to tears and was so brilliantly put: "the tree could be anything, or anyone, really… I could be speaking to the moon, or to another person, or to the page, or to myself… but if I spoke the truth, about whatever was aching in that moment, I would get the connection tingles" : I am only starting to pay attention to these tingles and their nature and their mysterious ways and it's really helpful to see how other people come about it. Aaaaaand last but not least: Re. your occasional doubts about blogging, I am sooooo glad to read this on your blog: "Writing never hurts" 🙂 🙂 🙂 and as Claire says higher up in the comments, we all mutually encourage each other to post about the more "real" sh**t, but when it comes to ourselves doing it, so many confusing feelings come up… sigh 🙂 But we all know it: writing never hurts 🙂 It's how we create this "WE" 🙂 xxxx Much love and Bonne année à toute la famille ! (ps. the Galette des rois story made me laugh!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Anne… what a marvellous comment…. so grateful… it’s so encouraging. I’m glad you got to read the post… I don’t know what glitch in WP allows that, was it via email link? You are a beautiful writer by the way… so happy to have met you on this journey… truly. Thank you so much. Haha about the galette, I was thinking of you!! 😆😚😊:))))) Lots of love, et également meilleurs voeux à toi et à tou(te)s tes proches pour une très bonne année 2020!! 🎉🙌💖grosses bises xoxoxoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hehehe it was in my “notifications” feel in the margin, I get notifications when you and Jim write new posts 🙂 So it didn’t pull it up in a normal page, just in the margin 🙂 SO HAPPY to have met you too xxxx gros bisous ❤ xxx Anne

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Good to see you back Nadine! Enjoyed your post and I like the fact that I have to always read your posts twice before I “get” the message. Might be I’m a bit slow or you’re really deep, either way always thought provoking and emotionally resonant. Thanks for being you 👍
    Jim x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jim, I didn’t see this till now… I feel honoured that you would read it twice!! I’m not going to… lol. Thank you for accepting my oddities… I really appreciate it. And thanks to you for being you. I love the way you do. :)) xoxo nadine

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Nadine!
    What a great post! As Claire said, I think I need to find a “tree” for myself. Something I can talk to. Thanks to you I have started a daily writing journal. I was always hesitant. I write in an old fashioned spiral notebook and it’s been wonderful in helping through “Dry January.”
    Alcohol free for almost one year~~~That’s Amazing! Thank you for staying with WP because we always love hearing from you, always insightful! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jackie… thank you for this… it means so much to me to hear that. Seriously. I just wish everyone would write, it’s such great therapy, and to know that you are doing this means the world. That you’re so generous to thank me for it, well, it says more about you than it does about me. As with all your beautiful comments. Thank you ❤️🙌

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy new year to you Nadine – I’ve missed you! Hope the troubles pass on there way soon. I’ve just come back from the park and found myself talking to a fallen tree – commiserating with it that it’s time on earth and it’s contribution has ended. Don’t really know what that was about but I thought of you and your tree then came in and saw your post! I think all of us addicts are too sensitive souls who find emotions and life painful to navigate at times. It’s a gift and a curse to feel so deeply love and hugs to you 💞💞💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much dear dgs… I’m sure the tree spirit appreciated that… all life and energy feels love and empathy, I believe…. You give wonderful energy. I love your blog, and your comments, as always. Thank you so much for visiting here and leaving a lovely message, happy new year to you, too. 💞💗💖

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes ‘This too shall pass’ is something I try to remember when going through stuff that is challenging! Not sure if I wished you a Happy New Year Nadine but I do wish you that! Blessed Be! : ) xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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