Holding On In The HOLIDAYS

For many people recovering from Alcoholism/Drug Addiction, the Holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving, can set off an annual period of Depression, negative thoughts and increased temptation to return to our old patterns of drinking, etc. Translation: A lot of recovering Alkies & Junkies want to get hammered during the Holidays...we can spend a lot of time feeling sorry for ourselves which is an extremely precarious place to be for someone in recovery. Not all of us are depressed but most of us would rather drink like we used to...

Oddly, I was not a big "holiday guy", therefore I never really thought about it much in festive terms...like celebrating or going to parties...I was an everyday drinker, I drank like it was a holiday every single day of the year...seriously. So it has not really been a more difficult time for me in recovery but I tend to be the exception to the rule in this case, I'd say...certainly among recovering folks that I know personally.

I was never "anti-Holiday" in the fashion of Scrooge...I just never thought it was that big of a deal. As I child I certainly did, believing in Santa Claus for quite awhile though I cannot recall how old I was when I stopped believing. I do remember pretending to believe for several years after I stopped because A) I had a sister 4 years younger then I and I didn't want to spoil it for her. Plus I enjoyed getting a slew of additional gifts from "Santa"....Sheesh, I wasn't STUPID!

As a child I was enthralled by the whole ideal of Christmas...the biblical aspect of it as well as the Santa Claus myth. It held a magical sense of what was possible if only one BELIEVED and that was a very hopeful feeling. One I still get today but now that I actually am a believer it takes on an even more special meaning spiritually.

I know though that this is rough time of year for some of my com-padre's in recovery so I am always aware that some of them, even those with many years of sobriety might be struggling.

My biggest challenge concerning Holidays and Birthdays is that I struggle or want to drink...no it's that I can be a real cynical and critical pain in the butt about it and ruin those occasions for others...that has happened quite often in the past. I didn't get why they were such a big deal so I intentionally ruined it for everyone else! But recently I have actually started to look at it all from a less selfish perspective and I truly enjoy these special days now. I think having two grandsons helped me a bit along the way but i work daily at being a less selfish person in my everyday life...I think it might be working.

So K and I are headed to my sister's place just south of Dayton, Ohio very early tomorrow morning (K works until late tonight)...I'm really looking forward to it. So I imagine the next few posts will probably be originating from there if I can still function well enough to write after I gorge myself.

Until then, SAFE TRAVELS Everyone!