This last year’s Christmas was spent at my parents’ house, and it was consisted of my entire family coming from all across the country and spending the holiday season together. I was active in my addiction and spent most of the time in my bedroom playing video games and getting high while my entire family was in town. The only interaction that took place was me saying hello and then I went back to my room to continue to use copious amounts of substances. It was already well known in my family that I was an alcoholic and used drugs constantly but nothing my family could do or say made any difference and it did not bother me. I felt hopeless and did not have any desire to be with my family at all. I did however also want to continue to take from them through me living at my parents’ house as well as me receiving gifts from my family for Christmas. I did not always spend Christmas this way, and I used to always enjoy seeing my family any chance that I could. I do not remember much from last Christmas other than a few of my relatives coming into my bedroom now and then to talk to me, but I would be too busy playing video games and hiding paraphernalia while they were talking to me to pay any attention to them.
I am very excited for this year’s Christmas, and I am looking forward to spending it with all of my new friends that are all sober that I have made here at New Life House. My family has nearly doubled in size because of everybody that I met here at New Life. I also feel blessed that New Life House is having a holiday party and all of our families are invited to spend the holiday season with us. This year’s Christmas is going to be unlike anything I have ever experienced before because it will be something that I am actually going to be present for. The holiday season used to always be about what I could get from other people and not about what I can give back to my loved ones. Now after working a spiritual program based on the twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous while living here at New Life House, I have learned how to show gratitude and love to my friends and family. I have been rebuilding the relationship I have damaged with my family over the time of me living here at New Life. There is still some guilt from the previous Christmas and not being there for my family, but I have learned to acknowledge that and move forward taking the correct actions to really be living in gratitude for this year’s Holiday season.