The holidays can be magical . . . and menacing. For some of us in recovery, Christmas may stir up memories of love, warmth, and security; or, their approach may be the first rung on a slippery spiral into painful recollections and loneliness. But we have another choice: the holidays and all their hoopla may be a great chance for us to work our program, choosing to live each day of all the holidays, one day at a time, as the gift of time that they are.
It’s great to have choices, now, huh?
Here are some choices that recovery can enable us to make – it’s our choice:
- Be willing to listen and learn.
One of my first meetings an old-timer told me to sit down, and shut up and listen; if I were so smart, I’d never have gotten in these rooms.
Wait! Didn’t she know WHO I was?(!)
Yes, she probably did. My over-inflated opinion of my opinions about reality was as obvious as a peacock’s ruffled tail feathers.
The miracle is I stayed and kept coming back, and I learned, because I honestly did not know how sick I was! Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.
- Don’t get HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY or TIRED! Put into practice what we can, like not picking up a drink, and praying.
- Don’t be a Lone Ranger. Stick closer with AA winners; go to meetings and listen. (Did I say this?) Get some phone numbers, and reach out to newcomers!
- Don’t Be a Lone Ranger. Get to know your Higher Power better. It is, after all, the season of His birth. God will help us avoid slips or dry drunks.
- Take nothing for granted! Stay out of dangerous places – not just literal places, but emotional and spiritual places, too. (See Psalm 1:1)
Practice an attitude of gratitude!
- Don’t be a Lone Ranger. (Am I repeating myself?) Depend on God to provide the strength and ability to do whatever is necessary to keep us safe. (See Psalm 5) This is also known as taking the Second Step; feel free to camp out here as long as you need to!
- Don’t Be Lazy! Gain understanding and wisdom. (See Proverbs 1)
This a life long privilege, and adventure. The AA program works if you work it. Go to AA meetings and listen, especially to someone who looks nothing like us . . . because they usually have an answer to our problem we’d never thought about!
Over time, AA’s have shared how they shoot down the dumb ideas that give me permission to drink before they make a nest in my brains.
The holidays can be rough – but the feelings they may spawn won’t kill us; a drink will.
Thanks for taking the time to read – What choices would you suggest ?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful