“My life has changed so much since my previous Christmas. I was never present, and I never cared about anyone or anything. I was always caught up in myself and was worried about how I could get high. It was horrible, and I remember during my using days how miserable I was and I wanted help but I felt trapped. I would think back to when I was a kid and being with the family, laughing and having a good time. The love we shared in the environment of watching Christmas movies or going to get a Christmas tree or looking at Christmas lights and just being present; I wanted it to be like that again, but I did nothing about it.
Instead, I would get high and then go back home, and I would isolate. I was in a dark place, and I did not want to be around my family, I just wanted to take from them and continue down my dark path. I hated my life and I wanted to make my family feel bad for me, but I did not care at all how I made them feel or if I made them worried my last Christmas my family could not sleep because they did not know where I was and they were so worried. I remember getting high and coming home at 3 am and waking up early for Christmas. I had the worst guilty feeling ever. I was depressed, and I had no joy in me at all I did not care it was even Christmas. I was not excited at all, and it was sad. I remember just thinking about what I can do or sell to get money on Christmas day I stayed at my house for like 2 hours, and then I left to find drugs, and I was not with my family at all. It was sad I hated my life, and I’ll never forget how bad it was. I broke all the traditions I did when I was a kid like decorating the house or being with my family to decorate the tree, or watching a movie the night before Christmas. I did not care because all I cared about was getting high, and if I wasn’t high, I was isolated because I could not stand to be around anybody. I did not know how to have a good time unless I was high. I did not feel a part of the family because the path I went down I was lonely I was scared and I hated my life.
This last Christmas was the best Christmas I’ve had in years even though I was not with my family because they were out of state, I got to talk to them on the phone, and I got to be with everybody in New Life House. It was just lovely to be able to wake up and know that my family knows that I’m ok. And I was so excited I had the feeling that I use to have when I was a kid and couldn’t sleep at night because I was so happy to wake up. It’s the first Christmas I was able to wake up and just be glad to be alive. I was so excited to have a family and to have friends around me I did not feel alone at all, and I was able to remember everything I did last Christmas. I remember all the decorations last year and just enjoying looking at Christmas lights. And it’s so nice just to be ok with where I’m at and the guy I am today and knowing that I never have to go back to the way my life used to be. I have the rest of my life to be able to enjoy the holidays and fellowship with the family and be with friends and watch Christmas movies and do what families are supposed to do; I never have to run again I get to enjoy my life and everybody in it. I get to appreciate, and I get to give, and that is the most beautiful thing about this whole process. I look forward to the rest of my life and all the things I get to do and that is what I get to be grateful for today. I just have so much gratitude for being sober during the holidays, and I actually get to see what I was missing out all those years in my using today. I get to enjoy it with my family and friends this year, and I get to remember all the good times and moments that I can bring joy to the world.”