Last week was a bittersweet one for me. I went on very quick road trip with Richie to handle some business in Texas, where I was born. Although we were there on business, we took some time to try and visit some places from my childhood in Dallas, and some touristy things for Richie. It was bittersweet because on our way we stopped in a little town named Sulphur Springs, population 15,000, and every bit of the stereotypical Texas that people commonly see the state as. Although I know both sides of Texas; the major metropolitan city of Dallas that is progressive, and then the very ‘red’ rural side.
There’s no doubt that 2016 will go down as one of the worst years ever for America, and many other places around the world. This year we lost so many prominent faces to addiction, mental illness, and natural causes. People who were forces in their own rightful arenas. We were also either one side or the other from a toxic and dividing political election that pitted friend against friend and relative against relative. I ended up being on the losing side of things unfortunately, in more ways than one.
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?
Basing a relationship off whether or not you are friends with someone on Facebook is indicative of the culture we currently find ourselves in. What did we do before social media? Relationships were apparently nonexistent until the introduction of Facebook.
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.
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