Celebrating the Holidays as an Addict

Written December 9, 2016

After looking at the calendar and seeing the snow piling up outside(yuck!) it dawned on me that Christmas is right around the corner. This time of year is particularly difficult for many people for various reasons but addicts like me have an especially hard time with it. The reasons are many but mostly because memories of Christmases past that come back to haunt us. Those memories at times are so real, so vivid that we can hear the laughter, see the people around us, smell and taste the food that day.

Then we feel the sadness, guilt, shame, and…, well, addict or not, I’m sure you can somewhat relate. The difference between an addict and a non addict celebrating the Holidays is that we don’t want to feel those feelings whether it’s because our family has cut us off or we cut our own selves off from the family. Whatever the case may be, we use to feel…well, actually nothing. We want to escape those haunting memories and the feelings attached to them. We just want to be numb.

The problem is that 1) we end up continuing to use until we’re in jail, in an institution, or worse yet…dead. I’ve known to many addicts who’ve died because they’d get high, still feel the shit, use some more, still feel, use more… and end up dead. 2) when we come down from that high nothing has changed. Well actually not true. Our problems are usually worse. If you’re an addict reading this I have one question. Do you think feelings of any kind that we feel during the year go away in between this Christmas and next? I’m here to tell you they don’t.

Yes, I personally am dealing with my own demons and feelings, not just about Christmas, but you know what? I don’t have to use because of them. Guilt, remorse, shame, fear, hurt, angry…all of that. As I get older people, family, leave my life whether it’s death, moving away, or disowning me(even tho I have a few 24hrs clean). It’s a fact of life that I’ve learned to accept. Do I like it? Hell no. Just today I had an overwhelming rush of memories and feelings of times gone by. I’ll admit that small part of me wanted to go run but I didn’t. How the hell did I do it? Keep reading…

I do my best to work a recovery program that has given me some tools to use. Praying, or talking, to my Higher Power and/or another addict. Those are 2 of my most important tools because only my Higher Power can alleviate most of my pain. What He can’t heal talking to another addict helps because only another addict understands what goes thru my head and heart on any given day. I know I’m not alone with those crazy thoughts and feelings. I also do a lot of writing in case you can’t tell by how many blogs I’ve done the last month or 2. I also play a tape in my mind of what would, not could – WOULD, happen if I went out and used. Trying different drugs, using different varieties of drugs along with the ways and means to get more. Then the icky feelings of my relapse comes bubbling up. Next thing you know my ass would end up 6’ under.

If you’re reading this and you’re an addict, there are 2 things I want you to know. First, in many regions and even cities there are helplines if you want to get clean. To my knowledge, most if not all areas will have meetings on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the same goes for New Years. I know, I will be opening our church Christmas Day and New Year’s day. Second, even tho you feel like no one loves you take heart that I love you…and I don’t even know you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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