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Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas, Holidays and Drinking

Holidays are a rough time for addicts, mostly because a great of the expectations of the holidays are about relationships, and addicts 'major' in dysfunctional relationships.  We usually spend most of the year ruining our relationships, and holidays act as a reminder of the previous year's (or decade's) blunders. 

Then again, we are also painfully reminded of all those who hurt us.  Many of our injuries that we struggle the most to forgive happen within the confines of the family.

These are contributing factors to the overall problems of addicts often being over-sensitive and thus prone to 'over-feel' certain situations.  This in turn makes the addict feel isolated from others because he picks up on every missed cue or awkward pause.  The overreaction to these hiccups in socializing lead to further missteps and greater awkwardness.

Humility helps overcome the embarrassment of social awkwardness and isolation.  When we accept that things will always feel weird and that we will always appear out-of-place, then we can be free enough to be ourselves.  Once we start 'acting naturally,' a whole lot of problems pass away.

If you know an addict, this is a good time to reach out to him or her and let them know that you look forward to being with them.  Your own expression of acceptance can go a long way with someone who struggles to feel 'part of.'

If you are the addict, then be on guard against those feelings of isolation.  Remember that how you feel and how things really are can be (and usually are) two entirely different things.  Go to a meeting, spend time with others in recovery, and remember that the real reason for this season is to give thanks to God rather than having clumbsy conversations with relatives.

Stay focussed on God.  After all, He put the 'holy' in holidays.

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