Holidays, Dysfunctional Families, Holy Hell and Yes…Sobriety….

The Holidays are here…as if staying sober isn’t enough struggle for some, add dysfunctional family relations, financial burden because of family demands and well, life on a daily basis during a high stressful season. Breaking it all down in layman terms….Most of us see January 2nd as the day like the last episode of Survival, wanting to just make it out alive.  I look back at my life and can laugh, at least now because for so many years I cried, and drowned myself in self pity with the alcohol and the coke. Being transparent about my life is a commitment I made when I got sober. I am the oldest of 2 half brothers and 2 half sisters, and have 1 older step brother and 1 younger. I use the correct terms of half and step for you to understand, but I have never considered any of them but being my family. They on the other hand may feel different, and that is truly ok with me.  As we learn in sobriety, we have family that we harmed in our addiction and they may not be present in our new sober journey.

 I like the analogy of families and trees. We.have many branches and roots. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandkids and so on. In the life of a tree, branches break, regrow, and attach to other limbs but always stem from the solid root.  Unfortunately addiction is a family disease. Some family members choose to participate and some don’t. We do not get to choose who our blood family is, but we do have a choice to be in their lives. If you are getting sober, been sober or are even contemplating is(which is a great idea), life is not going to be in the beginning, middle or end perfect. Life will though be a hell of a lot easier when our mind, body, and soul get clean.  Life on life’s terms is what I am told and what I read when I am at meetings. I listen to those who are wiser than I and hear they have issues too. I also get to hear and my own eyes see the miracles that do transpire when we choose sobriety.

What situations will you face this holiday season?  Are you a parent who will be without the kids? Are you a son or daughter that isn’t allowed at home because of your addiction?  Are you single, and don’t have anyone this holiday season to be with or around? These are all kinda depressing situations, huh? I have been in everyone of them, and was using at the time, and frankly used heavily while I sulked in self pity.  I tried to self talk myself into believing it was everyone else, it wasn’t though, It was me. My poor choices, which led to my crappy consequences. Some of my crappy consequences were extreme and affected my loved ones. I, in my self absorbed self thought I was getting the worst deal of all.  That is the mindset unfortunately of someone who is in addiction and using. We can not see past the end of our noses, we see only me, me and me…..Until I got sober, I never considered the hurt my loved ones felt, or the pain they endured. Until I got sober, I never considered the financial strain I placed on friends and family. Being about to feel emotions is what we tried for so long not to do, that is why we used drugs and alcohol so we would not. The true meaning of Holidays to me  are about Giving Thanks, the Birth of Jesus and The New Year ahead.

When we are in full addiction this is what we see and feel during this time……Holidays are full of emotions, drinking, drugging, partying and hoping our co workers don’t remember the fools we made of self at the annual party.  Holidays are full of gatherings with loved ones, or sharing the custody agreement with our former spouse. Holidays are about spending, spending and more spending, and shame and guilt because we didn’t spend enough. Holidays are a time we don’t really want to remember and hope the drink and drug will speed up the days as we are so ready for all of this to be over. Life DOES NOT have to be like this though!  The Holidays can be peaceful, and you can be soberly present mind, body and soul the whole time to enjoy. It doesn’t have to be dreaded.  Are you ready? You do not have to live another day in active addiction. Need help? I can relate and help on so many levels.

   I am here, amycooper@faithatthebeach.com    May you all enjoy your Holidays and be grateful!!  May the angels above surround you all with hugs, kisses and lots of love.  Amy C.