Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or what ever you do for the holidays. So a lot of us it’s gonna be the first time being sober for the holidays. I went to an AA meeting last night and we shared about what the Holidays mean to us, what they’ve meant in the past and how they’re different this year. Myself it’s been 23 years since I’ve had a sober Christmas cause this time of year was super hard and I’m pretty sure a lot of people can attest to that. I mentioned a story I had shared, I was 15 and I was in bed Christmas Eve when Mom came home with a buddy that played baseball on my parents team during the summer years back. I looked up to him and as well my mom, I can not say enough how much I love her and respect her. Well this night she got me out of bed and said that John was here and I had gotten up all tired and half asleep cause I somehow went to bed early because of Christmas morning. I had joined the table and mom put a glass in front of me and I knew what it was and it made me feel older and I was able to have a drink with mom and John. I only remember pouring myself a drink after that and I made sure it was a strong drink at that, I blacked out soon after and finally awoken in the morning feelin ever so ill. Dad was working graveyards at the sawmill so he had woken me up not knowing what had happened the night before and kinda wondering why I was not awake. I was still feeling tipsy and I could tell that mom was as well, that’s when I found out during the night after John had left I was so drunk at 15 that I was trying to hitchhike in my shorts, t-shirt and bare feet along the highway, mad for some reason not knowing why or still knowing why and my mom was trying to get me back in the house. I could not believe at what I did. The next morning dad was pissed off which he had every right. I ended up getting Our Lady Peace tickets and a Samsonite Duffle bag which I loved and loved!! but I soon went back to bed not having breakfast cause I was sick.
Every Christmas was different after that, it would never be the same, and like I said 23 years of this or that, trying to have a normal Christmas and I just couldn’t and they got worse for me or I made it worse for my family. That is my story for that year when I was so young, drinking with my mom and a friend in what I call “Normalized Chaos” cause it’s not normal for a 15 year old to do that but in our family it was for me and in no way I’m trying to piss them off or make them look bad cause this is and will be read by anyone. This is my story and I will tell it my way.
So now back to having my first Christmas in Sobriety like a lot of people will this year and I’m really finding it a very sensitive time for myself cause I also suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and it gets me every time and a huge reason to drink and numb that specific pain among others like not having my daughter and seeing her for 12 years now. I know I am having feelings and emotions coming at me every which way and I’m trying my hardest to deal with them one by one. I’m finding that when one pops up I stay in that feeling whether its anger, sadness, happiness or just feeling discomfort from every possible angle I feel that feeling for what it is and try to understand it best I can and let it go. I do not suppress it cause look where it got me before…..right! I’m not saying its gonna work for you reading this but everyone has to find their own way.
I honestly just want to end this by saying even though it’s your first Christmas in Sobriety after a long time or you have a couple behind you or many. It is a “choice” how it’s going to go for you. Don’t dwell in the past because it’ll only bring up hurt and resentment. Don’t assume for the future because it’ll bring up anxiety and discomfort. Stay in the present and do your best cause that’s what the gift is. Enjoy your self, laugh and be in the moment.
Happy Holidays everyone from myself to you.