Sober holidays are much different than plowing through the family festivities drunk. New Life House member, Sam, shares his experiences past and present.
The holiday season in the past was a great excuse for me to eat free food and drink as much alcohol as possible. My main goal was to make it through the day until nighttime, so I could coordinate with my friends where we could drink some more. I used to make such a big deal out of going to visit my family and instead of getting excited to see them, I was more focused on when and how I could get away from them to pursue my desire to drink. I always felt awkward getting together with my family. The different emotions floating around the house made the tension increase and decrease drastically, so naturally a drink became more and more necessary, especially since I didn’t know how to enjoy the moment or show up for my family in the way that they deserved. I ended up making drinking more of a priority than being with my family and my mind was consumed with planning how I could manage to drink as much as possible.
Now that I am sober for this holiday season, my motives and perception have taken a huge turn. I suit up and make sure that I am doing all that I can so my family can have a great experience when they come see me. Now, I feel that it is my job to accommodate them and not the other way around, a concept that was foreign to me before getting sober. I am excited to see their faces and embrace them with open arms. I am not apprehensive toward being with my family and I now know how to deal with all my feelings without alcohol. Rather than the overwhelming stress I used to feel, I feel gratitude and joy toward seeing my family. Tasks that I used to find tedious have now become fun. Putting up Christmas lights this year was an amazing bonding experience with the guys in New Life House and it brings me pleasure to know my family will get to enjoy them as well when they come up to visit. I have never been able to achieve pure and true happiness like I feel today and I can attribute that to my sobriety. I am eager to see how amazing my holidays will continue to be if I continue on this journey.
New Life House L.A. Member