Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Holiday Season Again

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".


Anna said...

Thanks for the reminder. Thanksgiving was a little rough. She was not high but she did get drunk. Fortunately, she did not make a scene and was very grateful to be included. We were grateful that she is still alive.

Xmas will be at our house with no alchohol so it might go better if we keep it short and sweet.

Merry Christmas to you. I am glad you still write.

Rehab Centers said...

sometimes, when it comes to addiction, it's the families and loved ones who suffer the most. I've posted a blog that addresses the reasons why many addicts will not accept treatment during the holidays, please check it out and consider linking to it--

A Mom's Serious Blunder said...

I almost always agree with you Ron...and I see where you are totally coming from but I think this is a crock of ...

Christmas is a time of joy, family and togetherness. Expecting a parent or loved one not to be mad or upset as their addict nods off head first into the mashed potatoes is cruel and ridiculous. I say be disappointed, be mad you have every right to be! To pretend you are not is just soooooo ugh I can not think of the right word... maybe the word is non-genuine or unauthentic.

I am not saying revel in it and ruin let it your entire families Christmas but damn it if I want be mad at him. I WILL BE!

Dad and Mom said...

I didn't say don't be mad. Don't be disappointed. Don't set yourself up to be mad and disappointed. It is your call, set your boundaries and stick to them.

If you don't want a head in the mashed potatoes don't ask him to come. Authentic is recognizing the limits for yourself and your addict.

My point is anger should not be a part of a holiday or joyous celebration. Allow yourself to be happy don't live in the world of what you want it to be but in what really is.

ruby-tuesday said...

Hey there,

I'm a recovering heroin addict and I live with my mother

You are right, addiction is not personal. The addict lives in a bubble where the only thing that matters is the drug, families often suffer more than the addict as they have to stand by and watch helplessly

I wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas x

Anonymous said...

After our little episode over Thanksgiving, I started to realize that in my son's case, he lapses on holidays because holidays are a trigger. Holidays mean judgemental relatives visiting and it just throws him off the path. My son agreed and thanked me for getting it(for once,lol).

Grieving Mom said...

How I wish we had included my son in last years family Christmas- no matter how screwed up he was. We were doing the "tough love" thing which I feel resulted in pushing him completely to insanity. He was battling prescription drug addiction.
My son overdosed and transitioned from the earthly plane on May 25 of this year. So, instead of celebrating December 25 as Christmas, I get to spend it as the 7 month anniversary of losing my son.
Enjoy each moment that you can. You may not get a second chance.