Holidays Tag

The holiday season can be a particularly difficult time for those in recovery and for their families. During this time of year everyone has high expectations, busier schedules and there are increased social gatherings and travel. People in recovery are often distracted during this time of year and attend fewer Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and parents may be attending less Al-Anon meetings.

I had always seen the holidays as an amazing and magical time when I was a child. Getting to see extended family members who I hadn’t spoken with in awhile, the house being lit up with all sorts of lights and music and the energy that exuded from people was contagious. I could feel the energy throughout my home and see it in the faces of my friends with the anticipation of presents.

Peace after chaos.  Peace at the holidays.  It has been years since our family felt peace and the excitement of looking forward to family time at the holidays. This year with both of my boys embracing sobriety, we have peace and it feels amazing.

As an active Alcoholic the holidays were the best part of the year. They marked a time when I was going to be given all of the things I did not deserve. Not only did it mean that I was going to receive gifts from my family, it meant that I was going to be giving myself gifts as well. In the form of feeding my addiction. While everyone else was focused on others and the spirit of giving, all I could think of is myself.

Now that I am starting to get a little bit of time sober under my belt, the days seem to go by a lot faster. I spend less time thinking about the struggle to stay sober, and more time thinking about what the next indicated action is to remain on the right path to recovery.

My previous holiday experiences over the last few years have been inadequate to say the least. Growing up I had viewed the holidays as time for family to come together and for traditions to be started.

As a child, my holidays were magical.  I grew up with a grandmother who knew how to turn her house into a Christmas fairytale.  We spent hours making Gingerbread houses from scratch (no joke), decorating tables as a Christmas wonderland – fake houses, streets, people and snow- and only went to tree lots that allowed us to cut down a fresh tree.  

The holiday season can be a joyful as well as a stressful time for anyone. For alcoholics and addicts in recovery though, it is commonly thought of as a time where addiction relapse happens more frequently. Is there any truth to this belief?

This Thanksgiving I am grateful for all I have been given from the 12 steps of AA. I have my family back, I am employable and for once, I am able to wake up in the morning and be comfortable in my own skin. I am happy with where my life is at.

As long as I can remember, Christmas time was the highlight of my childhood, as the anticipation of a magical morning came slowly from expectation to reality. My parents always had the fireplace lit, a special treat and a multitude of presents for us each year.