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Holidays bring mixed emotions to everyone whether you’re in recovery or not. The holidays could be a happy family gathering, a family feud, a lonely day, or another day at the job for those who work holidays.
When I was in active addiction, holidays were a day of disaster. I would be filled with so many negative emotions, all while putting on a mask that everything was just fine. Guilt would overwhelm me when I would be strolling in late, empty-handed, dressed terribly, and with the attitude of wanting to get the holiday celebration over with.
The morning of the holiday, I would be scrambling around trying to make sure I could get enough drugs so that I wouldn’t be in withdrawal and could be able to somewhat function during my family gathering. So many lies would come flying out of my mouth when I would see my family. I would try to convince everyone that I had a job, a functional healthy relationship, a beautiful apartment, and most importantly; that I’m happy. I didn’t want anyone to know what was really going on behind closed doors. I most certainly wasn’t ready to receive any type of help, so why let everyone down by saying the truth of what my life was like? And why humiliate myself more than I already was? While a cousin of mine would be bragging about her new home, beautiful marriage, and pregnancy, I was sitting there thinking, “yeah my life update is that the most exciting thing about my day is when I get a deal on my heroin purchase. Or that I spend my day scraping for money for dope so that I can simply get up, eat, and shower. Or that it’s considered a successful day when I don’t break my needle or maybe get a little nod session.”
Although I thought I had my family fooled that my life was going great, they knew that it was all a lie. They may have not known the extent of how bad my addiction was, but they knew that almost every word out of my mouth was a lie and that I was far from fine. It was devastating for me deep inside. Deep inside the real Ally was still there, but every time she tried to come alive, Addict Ally suppressed her even more. Ally wanted to scream for help. Ally wanted to say the truth of what her life was really like. When family members would offer help, Ally wanted to accept it. However, Addict Ally was always louder. She would shut Ally up quickly and answer for her. Addict Ally loves saying no to help. She loves lying and she loves making Ally feel terrible for the pain she’s causing her family, all to keep Addict Ally alive and thriving.
That’s how my holidays for the past couple years have been spent in a nutshell.
This year was different. For every single holiday.
I spent the holidays not only in sobriety, but in recovery. I was present, both physically and mentally, with my family. I was able to enjoy the time with my family and I didn’t want the celebration to end. My family met a whole new me!
I also spent the holidays working at the sober house that I work for. I had the opportunity to show the women there that holidays can be celebrated and enjoyed SOBER! I really enjoyed the time spent with them and I’m so glad that they enjoyed their holiday as well.
I ended 2016 with so much gratitude. 2016 was an amazing year for me. I’ve had terrible years for the past 6-7 years, so I’m grateful to have finally had a good one. There were SO many times that life tried to knock me down this year, but each time I was tried, I reached my hand out to the Lord and He grabbed it. He lifted me up and showered me with His grace, love, and comfort. He directed and guided my every step and allowed me to rely on faith alone when my vision was completely blurred. By relying on faith and staying obedient to Him, He blessed me beyond my wildest dreams.
I’m so excited to see what God has planned for 2017 and I’m even more excited for the upcoming testimonies this new year will bring.
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2 Replies to “Holidays in Recovery”
I’m glad that your holidays have been more brighter and that you’ve been able to celebrate being true to yourself. I’m happy to hear that you’ve been able to experience such a drastic change in your experience and in your perspective. I find it so interesting that our families and friends always know when something is a little different or off from what they’re use to. As much as we think we’re hiding or fronting, they see right through it and for the most part, will speak on it. I really appreciate the people in my life who come to me or find a way to let me know, that they are aware of some changes. Them noticing is even a big deal… shows that someone does in fact care enough to notice ya know.
Although holidays are a time to connect with family and friends, from the convos that I’ve had… for me and a lot of my friends it’s been a time of self reflection. Listening to everyone’s personal updates and exaggerations sometimes when the family gathers, really gets me to thinking about everything I have and have yet to accomplish. Really gets me in my feelings, never fails lol Anyways, I am really happy for you and I’m glad that you had such a better experience this year.
I love this so much!! I think that no matter what you are in Recovery for, Holidays can be rough. I know that my family could tell I was lieing about being okay. But, this holiday season was different for me too. So happy for you, great blog and thanks so much for sharing!