As the parent of an addict we always looked at holiday and family celebrations with nervous fear. What were we in for this time? Nothing ever went well, there was always drama and crisis.
We took it personal. Why is he doing this to us? Can't we just have ONE peaceful holiday, just one day? We never get peace. Christmas, birthday's Thanksgiving, 4th of July, weddings, it didn't matter what day; it ended up a disaster. With that our anger and frustration was always on the surface often boiling over to the point all joy was lost.
Towards the end of Alex's using and now I finally understood it wasn't personal. It's not personal that an addict uses on special occasions and cause a total wreck for us that love them. It's just what addicts do.
Acceptance that a holiday or special occasion is no different than any other day is important for us to understand. An addict is addicted and they will use, no matter if it is a holiday or special occasion. That's just what they do and a date on a calendar has no impact on their need.
Dad, Mom and all you other loved ones of addicts that are not in recovery it is not personal. It's just the way addiction works. It's good if you are able to include your addicted loved on in the holiday celebrations but understand the limits of their ability to function. It's not good for you to have expectations that only set yourself up for disappointment. Remember to live in the world of "what is" versus the world of "what ought to be".