24 Dec A Different Kind Of Christmas
Last Christmas I was unable to be there for my family. Both mentally and physically I did not have the ability to be present. I had just relapsed once again after a 30 day treatment and my life was spiraling deeper and deeper. The morning of Christmas I was unable to wake up due to the chaos I had caused the night before.
There was talk around the house that I needed to go away to a long term treatment or just leave my parent’s house permanently. Even with these threats of being homeless, my only thought was, “I just need to make it until New Year’s Eve” so I could escape the reality that my life was a mess once again. My life was all about me and my happiness, never about my family or their feelings. I was not able to see how badly I was ruining the lives of the people around me. With all of the unconditional love that was constantly shown to me I was unable to bring into my mind the ways that I was taking away from my family’s happiness.
Last year I had terrible relationships with my family members. I was even distant from my brother who has been the closest friend I have ever had. I am more than grateful to be able to look back on last year and say that everything about last Christmas is different today. This year my relationship with my family is better than ever. I have very close individual relationships within my family and the overall family unit is healing as I am working on myself here at New Life House. My mom doesn’t have to worry about where I am this year. She can have peace in her mind that I am safe, happy, and healthy.
Getting sober has helped me to be able to communicate with my family members in a healthy way and has brought back the joy that we used to share. I am able to be present for them this year and express my gratitude for them sticking by my side throughout the rough journey that was my past. The love for my family never went away during my using but my ability to express my love through actions did.
This year my issues don’t have to be the topic of conversation, because my main priority is showing my family how much they mean to me. I never want them to feel the way they felt last Christmas again. I recently took my mom and brother to an AA meeting with me and my mom started crying after the meeting was over and expressed how glad she is that we aren’t in a situation like we were last year and that we are able to be together. Hearing my mother express the way she felt about me was the best gift I could have ever gotten; those words have had a long-lasting impression beyond any material gift. Being able to give my mother, who has worried about me more than any human being, the ability to go to bed at night and not have to worry if I am going to make it home alive, is what gives me the motivation to continue this process when things get hard. Because no matter what I am going through, my family never deserves to have to feel the pain that I put them through ever again in their lives. I am more than grateful for the tools that New Life House has given me this far, because on my own I would not be able to have a healthy relationship with my family today.
-Derrick C., New Life House member