It’s safe to say that pretty much everyone is ready for the end of the year, but we have one more holiday to get through first. The one that has so many meanings to so many people. Yes, Christmas; the most misunderstood, stressful, and risky. This holiday affects me in all of the Big 4; Christianity, alcoholism, mental illness, and homosexuality. I always dread going into this holiday because of all the implications it could have on me. Will I forget to acknowledge the true meaning of Christmas? How many events will I go to that there will be alcohol? How will my mind handle the stress and anxiety of all the expectations surrounding this day? How many ‘Clobber Passage’ zealots will I be able to avoid before one of them throws one of those scriptures at me?
Money management hasn’t always been my strong suit. In fact, I have spent a scary amount of money on the most frivolous thing. At one time my habit was spending countless amounts of money on iTunes for every song I thought I ever wanted. It has transitioned to one thing after another over the years, but I never really understood why I couldn’t kick the habit like all the other adults in my life. I felt immature and careless. I wanted to be better about my money, but couldn’t ever seem to find a way.
I think we can all attest that the holidays are one of the most difficult times for a person living in recovery. Four years in and I still struggle with this time of year. From the parties, to the dinners, to the added stress that the holidays naturally bring with it. It’s is also easy to get caught up in depression that stems from memories from past holidays, whether it be because someone is longer with us on earth or because it reminds you of an ex. The list is huge.
I have employed multiple tactics to make it through the holidays. Not all have been successful (doesn’t mean I relapsed, some just didn’t actually help in any way), but have helped me trim the list down. I have put together my top 5 ways to stay sober through the holidays, each with a relevant and thoughtful scripture to go with it. If you have other ways, please share them in the comments below the article.