I haven’t posted in a while but I’ve had several emails and things asking about the Holidays and adjusting, whether it be a family member of the alcoholic or the alcoholic himself. I’m going to keep this short and sweet (well, kind of) and to the point.
For all involved, the holidays are what YOU make of them, YOU and no one else but YOU.
Here’s an example of mine and what I choose for me… the other day Sheldon, my moody beauty daughter as I like to call her, posted a meme that said BEFORE YOU MARRY SOMEONE, FIND OUT IF THEIR FAMILY DRINKS MIMOSAS OR RUNS 5K ON HOLIDAY MORNINGS. I felt that.. because I’ve been the mimosa drinker but now run 5Ks on holiday mornings. I do this because I choose to continue to live and REFUSE letting being an alcoholic define me.. again, my holidays are what I make of them, how I intend to enjoy them, how I feel about them. Don’t get me wrong, It’s challenging, I can definitely fall off for a second and get in that mindset of being angry and letting it win.. but not for long. This demon wins again if I’m miserable and I don’t like to lose!
Now.. I choose to run that 5K on New Years morning to keep living my life to the fullest and to not let what goes on around me define me, I don’t have to do anything, I can sit at home and be angry or isolate or blame or even make others around me miserable but I choose not to.. I’m going to enjoy my life drinking for the holidays or not. Again, this doesn’t always come easy… I have to use the tools given to me and be spiritually fit to deal with these things but I find my way..
3 Christmases ago my family flew here to Kentucky to spend it with me in treatment, (my mom rented a cabin in the woods that was in a diff time zone once you crossed the street and I barely slept because I kept getting the time confused in my head and I didn’t want to be late getting back to the facility) in the middle of NOWHERE.. all of us cooped up in the cold playing games, all silently counting down the hours until we could get the hell out of there) Last Christmas my dog and I made the 15 hour drive from Kentucky to Texas for Christmas. I’m so grateful that I did because that was my stepdads last Christmas but I had to feed the dog Dramamine and Benadryl the whole trip there and back because she’s crazy as hell and we couldn’t get along if she was awake!!! A few before that are blurry and the last Thanksgiving I can remember at home celebrating as a family we were doing shots of tequila and whatever else we could out of the trunk of one of Chase’s ex girlfriend’s car. She works for a distributor so we all benefited from that. Shit happens, things change on the daily. I was never good with change and that’s all i do now, change! Again, It’s what you make of it. Life happens, alcohol or no alcohol, it doesn’t own us! My advise to the family members, live your life, celebrate your holiday’s be mindful but don’t alter your traditions, plans, gatherings etc to accommodate one of us. Advise to the alcoholic, know what you can and can’t handle, have a plan before you go to each party, family’s house, gathering, set your limits and stick with them. BUT MOST OF ALL… enjoy them, don’t let this disease win, don’t let it take everything, it has most definitely taken enough from us for a lifetime.. It’s up to YOU!
Nothing changes if nothing changes…. I honestly hate that phrase.. it gets my face heated at times! Changes are all I know these days… but if it weren’t for changes I would be dead and that’s a big FACT! So .. I will continue to maneuver through and do what it takes to make these changes worth while.. be happy with my family and friends and what I can do and only I can make that happen.
My mom and aunt are coming here to KY for Thanksgiving.. NOTHING about this is traditional or normal and it’s hard to even fathom that I won’t be with all the family but honestly I haven’t been present in years! We’ve lost dear family members this year, traditions are changing, hell I don’t even know if we have traditions anymore.. we’re just doing this damn thing called life the best we can being an alcoholic or not, being a family member of one or not! Thank God I’m blessed with coming from a very strong group of women in my family.. My grandmother, My Mom, I got it from them, Sheldon got it from me.. we are survivors and we love to be happy.
Bottom line is…. YOU control YOU! The alcohol or the drugs don’t, your family don’t, your friends don’t, YOU do. You can’t control a single thing that others do or what goes on around you (believe me I’ve tried, my control issues are my biggest enemies) but I can control how I respond, how I react and how happy I am. I depend on ME a lot. The holidays are going to come and go every single year so make the best of them.
Advise to the alcoholic… along with your boundaries and limits and plans and all that stuff that comes along with attending holiday festivities.. you should also consider having access to a meeting or sponsor or support group. Some of the best shares at meetings that I have heard come from the ones I’ve attended around holidays.. they are inspiring, funny, sad, but 100% REAL.. I walk out of there feeling a lot better than I felt going in.. you realize sometimes you don’t have it as bad as you might want to think.. some people are way more fkd up than you!! 🙂 Contact a friend or even me!
We ( a ton of us in recovery, guys and girls) have a text thread where we are all constantly throwing all kinds of stuff out there to each other, we help each other, we laugh, most of the conversations turn out to be very inappropriate and hilarious, sometimes I don’t even participate or scroll back through when I look at my phone and see 176 notifications on that txt BUT… I can always count on it at any given time on any given day, someone is there and we don’t always talk recovery… we get sick of it and don’t let it define us, we talk about any and everything.
Live your LIFE!~ I know it’s tough, I know it’s a struggle, I know it’s work each and every single day, I struggle hard at times, really hard but I haven’t let it beat me again as of today, day by day, that’s how I live and it’s how I stay happy. Enjoy your Holidays, you never know if this is your last or a loved ones last..
I woke up this morning with an enormous peaceful feeling and excitement that I’ll have some family here for Thanksgiving and it will be odd and different and all of that but that’s my normal now and I am so very grateful I get to be alive for another holiday!
Take this time also to DISPOSE.. bad habits, fair weathered friends, people who are in your life at their convenience or their terms, places and things that don’t bring you joy, acknowledge the positives in your life and take advantage of those things. Again, YOU choose how YOU feel. I woke up today with a peace I haven’t felt in a while.. and I am so grateful that I read the emails that came from some of you over the weekend and I am able to address this and help! Helping others helps ME!
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!~ All of it, the holidays are here whether we like it or not!!!! Drink those mimosas (those of you who can) or run a 5K.. hell, do both if you bad…. do what makes you feel good and what you damn well please! I do!~