Ashley G's Holiday TipMy first holiday sober was very frightening. I did not have the slightest clue how I was going to stay sober through the festivities and forced contact with the "family." The word family is in quotation marks for a very important reason... I did not know the true meaning of a family until my first Christmas sober.
As usual, the arguments began a few days before Christmas. Although the topic had severely changed. I was extremely uncomfortable about going home if my mother, aka Betsy BigHair was going to serve her infamous Brandy Alexanders on Christmas Eve. Not only did these drinks put hair on many a family member's chest, but turned a few into ferocious Grizzly Bears. This is where the conflict of interest begins.
Very Important ChoiceI was quite adamant about no liquor on Christmas Eve. Betsy BigHair was fearlessly pro liquor. Now keep in mind I didn't say no alcohol, just no liquor i.e. no Brandy Alexanders i.e. no fights! Of course this went on up until Christmas Eve morning and I had to make a very important choice. Was it my family or my sobriety.
I must admit that my Higher Power definitely played a role that morning because I was in tears and full of fear. I declined going home which meant that I was "turning my back" on my family. In reality I was just learning what a family was really about and what unconditional love meant.
A New PrespectiveI gave myself a big gigiantic Pity Party the remainder of the day and finally calmed down regaining some sanity. Here in Charlotte we have 24-hour Alcothons for the holidays, which are extremely important and also loads of fun.
I took my sorry self to the Alcothon, gaining a new perspective on Christmas and the holidays. There I met two people who had over 5 years sober each. They were having Christmas Day dinner and invited me to join them. After thinking of any other options, which were basically none, I said YES!
Best ChristmasI had the best Christmas of my entire life. By making new friends in the program and learning to enjoy the holidays for what they really are, I gained a new perspective on life. That Christmas changed my entire life and helped me to stay sober.
Basically I just became active and got involved. I was able to meet people from other meetings that I had not met (I was 2 months sober). I also learned a valuable lesson...You do not have to drink to have a great time!!! What a novel idea!
My Family NowToday, I am approaching 5 years sober. I would not trade a single holiday I have had in sobriety for all the money in the world. That statement does carry some weight given my present financial situation. I love being sober and all the great friendships I have made over the past few years. Alcoholics Anonymous is now my family! I am proud to have such insight to know that I am an alcoholic and to have made the CHOICE to join.
Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays!
-- Ashley G.
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