How can the most wonderful time of the year be so difficult? The truth is the holidays are stressful for a lot of people. For those addicted to drugs or alcohol, the pressure of the holidays can exacerbate what is already a difficult situation.
The holidays can be a time of joy and renewal. We can use this time to be with family and friends. This is the time to remember the gifts recovery has given us.
I remember my 1st Christmas being sober. I was so afraid. I had not seen a Christmas without alcohol for 10 years. I had no money, I could not be with my family and bills were pilling up. I remember what my sponsor always told me, Jeff, there are 2 things in life you cannot afford, one was self-pity and the other was resentment. I had to work hard to stay away from both of these, so I made sure I was close to recovering people and those with a positive attitude. I also felt it was important to give something back so I would go to the local hospital and offer to visit with people who had no one. It became clear that I was not as bad off as I thought. I had the gift of life and the opportunity to change.
I have learned over time that Christmas is for kids and I had an obligation to in some way make there Christmas a little better. I did that by staying sober and for 20 years took my children to the hospital on Christmas Eve to visit with children who could not go home for Christmas. It has now been 33 years of sobriety and my children are 25 and 28. I couldn’t be more grateful.
Be good to yourself and good things will happen.