Happy Christmas to you. Nadolig Llawen as Welsh-speakers say. (I'm not, not more than a few words, but a lot of my family are and I wish I could - perhaps something for the ever-expanding to-do-list?)
Mrs Cardiff Drunk and I exchanged our gifts this morning, and I am now the proud owner of a very nice new pair of trainers and a Johhny Cash collection. Super.
We're apart this Christmas for the first time for, oh, well, quite a long time. She needs to see her parents and sister this year and I'm working on Christmas Eve and the day after Boxing Day. And, forty years ago this very year my older brother had the temerity to be born on the day after Christmas Day - poor timing brother. (I feel even sorrier for two of my school mates and their present supplying family - twins born on Christmas Day!)
Shall I do the Scrooge thang?
No, I can't find it in myself today. Well, OK, a little bit. We finished our Christmas shopping yesterday morning and I do find the shopping scrum a bit dispiriting, but, beyond that I'll leave it.
Shall I say what problem drinkers, alcoholics and recovering alcoholics say about Christmas? No, you know it already don't you? But, maybe you don't. I'm sure you do though, so I shan't.
Well, it's quite a hard time of year if you're dealing with a drink problem. (Bugger, I went and did it anyway - I couldn't stop myself, "My name is Cardiff Drunk and I'm a stating-the-bleeding-obvious-aholic.")
It is though you know. For very obvious reasons.
"It's the one day of the year when it's seen as perfectly respectable to start the day with an alcoholic drink," as my recently-ex counsellor said.
That was when I was on the waiting list for a detox and the local charity had told me they wouldn't do one in the immediate run up to the Christmas period.
But where am I in my odyssey?
Well, the last time I drank was on Sunday - a two day bender that really got out of hand. I got back on track by not drinking yesterday, that was good.
I'm due to go to my parents either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Mmm. There is danger ahead I think.
The job is helping fantastically, it's given me a routine outside get up - go to pub - fall down - get up - go to pub - fall down.
I feel a little stronger as well. After the weekend I can safely say that I am physically craving alcohol, but, I just know that I am not going to give in it today, or indeed (probably) tomorrow.
My parents, I think, still believe me to be teetotal. It's too much trouble to disabuse them of this notion of my abuse (Much of my counselling has been around a slightly difficult relationship with my parents - nothing major really and not helped by my own oversensitivity.) So, if I go down on Christmas Eve I should be safely locked up at home. But after my last crash and burn I'm still a little jumpy about going home - it's a small town and I don't really want to see anyone there beyond my immediate family.
If I stay in Cardiff though, I'll finish work at noon, take Mrs Cardiff Drunk to the station for her train to the far and frozen north lands and then...
Well then, I'll be free on what (and, I'm sure Jesus would be thrilled) is usually called one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. My last trip to the O was somewhat more successful than usual; I had a damn good chat to someone, it's an excuse, but that's part of the reason I was in there so long and drank so throatily, and I'll no doubt be tempted to head there.
If I go home to my parents I'll have to wave my brother off to the pub. But, we shall see, we shall see. The main thing I hope is that I don't wake up on Christmas day feeling rubbish and hungover.
Anyway. I hope your festivities go well, if you fest them at all.
That's where the danger lurks. It'll be Christmas Eve