Being sober now in the holiday times has been an interesting experience to say the least, and it still isn’t even fully over. It has been fantastic hanging out with the guys and having a community of families and friends who all care and want to come together. I’ve realized my sober outlook is much brighter than my past one.
Looking forward and reflecting on how future holiday seasons may go has also been a big concept for me. Both future and past have become something to ponder as they seem equally important for me in the long run. In the past I can see all of the feelings, thoughts, emotions, and separation that was either caused by me or as a result of my actions. Every holiday was never enough, every year and every person never lived up to my selfish expectations. That was honestly the real issue with my past, expectations. I had expected so much from my family, my friends, my relatives, and my life that I was always unhappy and let down by everything and everyone in my life. In reality this was a greater problem with my life in general, but was amplified by all the expectations that I would put on the holiday season.
The gifts were never enough, the events were never to my standards, the family chit chat was always a drag, life in general seemed to turn into a black hole of angst come December. All of these issues were caused by my own insecurity and my own selfish fears, – the holidays just became the perfect scapegoat for my life’s problems and tribulations. The conclusion I came to in the end is that my past holidays are ultimately going to determine my future holidays, depending entirely on my perception. This is extremely important to check myself on now going into the next year and years to come. The holiday seasons did not get the nickname “relapse season” among AA for no reason.
Holidays can mean a reminder of loneliness for most, family tension for some, grudges for others, and of course the hundreds upon hundreds of expectations. Stress from trying to orchestrate the perfect family gather, financial issue, family dysfunction – it can all become extremely overwhelming. In my opinion, I have learned that going with the flow is the easiest course of action. All of the feelings and issues I have had about the holidays have seemed to vanish just by letting go of all the stigma and expectations I held to everything in my life. Of course dropping my expectations and just trying to enjoy life for what it is, isn’t something that just changed for me overnight or by snapping my fingers. Through constantly checking myself I have found that I am able to at least catch myself when I start to put an expectation on something, whether it be a person, situation, or place I try my best to look at why I am holding this certain expectation.
My sober outlook on the holidays looks bright right now and I am happy with where I am at with it, although I do hope to continue growing in every way I can throughout the rest of my life. I feel the need to make each year fulfilled to the greatest extent. The expectation for Christmas this year may have been for a holiday at home, or maybe even a Christmas just with family for others, but the reality is that not everyone has gotten what they may have first intended. The beauty in the situations that we are all in this season is that whether or not the expectations had were or were not met, we can all still be happy with where we are at or who we are within the end.
Although we may not all be with the family or loved ones we had hoped to see this year, we can all be thankful that we are still surrounded by the caring and compassionate people that create the New Life House experience throughout each house member’s journey. So my sober outlook for years to come is bright, I am constantly surrounded by friends that continue to push me in my life and make the community feeling come to life. The holidays are now here and Christmas is now near, so Happy Holidays to all and to all a good year!