When I first began writing for “BellaOnline”, there was a part of the training that recommended that we don’t write articles that can be dated. In other words, the article I write today could be used any time in the future because nothing indicates when it was written. The same could be said of seasons. Holiday articles are only as relevant as they pertain to the actual holiday. I take exception of that with Christmas and a New Year or whatever holiday you celebrate and a New Year.
This is always the time of year where almost everyone enjoys friends and family. They will travel across the country to be with their loved ones, offer peace and good will to others, and make a list of what they will change for the next year. All people do this to some extent. It is the season. It is what most normal people do. We are now a part of that group. Of course, I should say that “normal” is relative but you get my message.
Today I took my three young grandchildren to a play. They have never known me any other way but sober. They are so young they have no clue what the word “sober” means. We were walking toward the theatre when they decided to run ahead of me. Instead of walking faster to catch up with them, I slowed down. Then I just stood there with tears in my eyes. I kept thinking how my life had changed. I was thinking of how grateful I am for recovery, the 12 Steps, the fellowship, meetings, and a God that continues to permit me to receive His gifts.
I was thinking how had I not made the decision to recover, I would not be a part of my children or my grandchildren’s lives. I wouldn’t even be a part of my husband’s life. Oh, they would all get together for holidays but it wouldn’t include me. In the “old” days, I would have made that their fault. I would have been the martyr. I would have done my best to make sure that I added as much drama as I could to my life so they would have to include it in their lives. My disease would not have kept my daughters from having children. The problem is I would never know them. If I did know them, I would never be trusted to be alone with them much less put them in my car. And rightfully so.
We all remember our last Christmas holiday season as alcoholics, addicts, or whatever our addiction. No doubt we spent it alone or arguing and fighting with family or friends. Maybe we spent it in a quiet, depressed state and wondered why the world was against us. Maybe we wondered why people seemed so damn happy and maybe we even bought everyone we knew gifts to prove we really were good people.
We were good people. We are good people. We were just sick. Although we will never be cured we have found a way to live. What we do know is that we absolutely must work Step One to perfection. Working all of the steps and staying close to a program is as close to a cure as we will ever get.
Even though I am not supposed to write a dated article, I had to write this. I wish each and every one of you a blessed Christmas. Be in gratitude because no matter if you got sober 25 years ago or 25 days ago, you will remember your last holiday in your disease. I also ask you that you join me in special prayer this season for all of those out there who continue to deny their disease(s) and that they might find that moment of clarity and the Higher Power that we know is already with them.
I hope this finds all of you in peaceful sobriety and that you can share this special time of year with loved ones. God is good!
Namaste’. May you walk your journey in peace and harmony.