Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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DeanW
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Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by DeanW » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:22 am

Does your ALO or RLO often act out around the holidays? By "act out" - I mean relapse but not necessarily a relapse; create a crisis and if there are children involved it often involves them; beyond the "normal" amount of drama that exists? Just start building up the tension until it explodes in late December or January.

I have noticed this for years. It comes out differently in 2 people in my family. But, they both start "building up" - around this time and gets worse through the season. Isolation or Intensity, it seems....no other choices.

I have tried to accommodate this over the years in many ways. Nothing has ever worked - as they say (and I do not like) it is what it is. For a few years, we rented a place in the mountains or on the beach for Christmas - didn't work. I've tried to change my celebration of holidays in many ways - never "fixes" things.

I'm afraid I've become conditioned to this behavior - this is my new "norm"....This year my plan is to somehow not allow others to mess with my own happiness. I think it is possible.
Last edited by DeanW on Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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slm219
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by slm219 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:31 am

The answer for me would be YES!

Although our AS has not been around for any holidays for the last 3 years and we miss him terribly.....in the end we do not have to worry about the added stress. Of course I did bring on a lot of that "stress" on myself :o In years past...I wanted everything to be so perfect.....now with getting older and just not being able to "DO EVERYTHING".....I have found that the holidays will come and go and I can spend them running around and fretting about everything or just ENJOY them....... Soooooo...I try very hard to just enjoy and not stress about who is here, who is not,.......and NO everything is not perfect!!!!! and yet everyone has a good time :D It is possible!
Hugs,
Sharon
Even a small star shines in the darkness.

Claytonmomof2
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by Claytonmomof2 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:39 am

I have noticed the holidays would cause an uptick in my AH behaviors. I could never really understand why. On the other hand, I knew that a lot of his hang outs would be closed on Christmas Day and so I would typically have some relief in knowing that on Christmas Day he wouldn't necessarily be gone. That I could relax and just enjoy the day with him and the kids.

This year I don't even think we will see him for Thanksgiving or Christmas. My heart hurts because of it... I know that we are right where we're supposed to be right now. I've defined my boundaries recently with him and because of my newly found boundaries it may be a very long time before we see him. It's also extremely difficult to implement boundaries and within days he was testing the waters.

Honestly, I'm not even sure how to get through the upcoming holidays but will do my best to make it a good time for my children.

hangingon
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by hangingon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:52 pm

I had to chuckle a little when I read the first line of your post because it just hit a nerve with me today.
My AH/RAH always acts/acted out around the holidays. It would all start around this time of year, a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. I spent soooo many years trying to make it better for him consoling/comforting/different environments etc....all the while trying hard to shield my children and my family from the crazy. The holidays just became one long ACT of pretending in a 2 month long play. Clean or using he would always somehow make it ALL about him and this year is no different, it has already begun.
I so agree we do become so conditioned, trying so hard to do the right thing by them, it is sad.
Our ALO's can so quickly ZAP the HAPPY out of Happy Holidays can't they. :roll:
Think that the reasons that elude you will one day catch up, that the lessons that have stumped you will one day bring you joy, and the sorrows that have crippled you will soon give you wings.
Peace

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vscook
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by vscook » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:57 pm

This is only the second year that I am dealing with active addiction during the holidays. Last year, she doing inpatient rehab and walked out because she didn't want to spend Thanksgiving there. :roll: I picked her up so she wouldn't call any of her "friends" and brought her home. She started out-patient rehab in December and remained clean until after the first of the year (I think). This year, she is in active addiction again so who knows what's going to happen. :?:
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present.

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endoftheroad
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by endoftheroad » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:04 pm

I have not had the opportunity to be around my addicted son in recovery or out at the holidays in now 4 years! And in my recollection, he has never been intolerable at the holidays. Although, I had a very alcoholic mother who ruined many, many holidays when I was a child. I was powerless over all of that and clung to my grandparents who were way normal.

What I notice around the holiday time is my own agitation. My own need to make it alright. There is so much social pressure to do the Norman Rockwell thing. This epiphany came to me about a week ago. I was going to write about it, but have just been sitting with it.

Your post reminded me that I spent a good deal of time in prayer a few weeks ago asking to know the way this holiday season. I was sick and tired of running, ignoring, prying and searching for my son to be present, in some sort of miraculous way :( I had to ask myself how this would look.....not good and not healthy either :shock:

In my situation, one daughter in AK, another several states away, a sister who pretty much keeps me away from her family for who knows why :o and my husband's entire family on the East Coast, so here we are!

I discovered, we are ENOUGH, he is my soul companion. And so, by the power of the Universe, a few days ago, I got this overwhelming relief! I made some glorious plans for the two of us!

What is really important to me is that my surroundings are completely loving and kind and I will go to any length to preserve that Serenity!
This is the easier softer way.....

wheretoturn
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by wheretoturn » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:35 am

I was so glad to see this post. The fall has always been when the relapses would be worse for my AS. I never understood why but from Halloween till the end of the year, never knew what to expect, but knew it probably wouldn't be good.
The last couple of years had been better. The last couple of Christmases my AS was in his home with his children and fiance on Christmas and I went over to see the grandchildren open up presents and was so very grateful for that time.
So far this fall, its been a nightmare, and I have no idea how Christmas will be. I do know his children have had to learn to be adaptable and they know that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be celebrated with or without their Dad. He is the one missing out if he is not here.
My prayers go out for all of us to get thru the season with as little chaos as possible, and keep in mind the real reason for the season. My prayers go out to all children everywhere that suffer during this time of year. There was one Christmas in particular when my AS was missing and had no idea where he was and I did my best to still make it special for his children. We do the best we can with every situation.
At least with the post concerning this, I know it wasn't just my imagination that things always got worse in the fall and holiday season. Just never understood why.

cdnstepmom
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by cdnstepmom » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:53 am

How timely is this post! Although Canadian, our Thanksgiving was last month. Didn't see the step-AS over that holiday weekend. I think that since we moved a little closer to the country, coming to our home doesn't work for him. He has been to our home only once since we moved in July. But with the holidays now coming upon us and him having just been kicked out of his grandmother's apartment and living with "friends" - for now, I too am almost bracing for the worst but hoping for the best. A bit of a contradiction, I know. I notice that he tends to get a bit more agitated as the holidays approach. Possibly in part due to the fact that he tends to use more during the holidays (parties) and needs more money for the holiday season usage. He has already asked for money to go towards a "tattoo" for his christmas gift. Knowing full well that we do not give him cash. Haven't done that in almost 2 years. I do not know what this upcoming holiday season will bring and am working on just living each day as it comes - letting the cards unfold as they will (sometimes easier said than done). :)

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Ronni
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by Ronni » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:05 am

It used to be this way with my RAS. There was always drama. Upsets. Stress. Mystery. And not just specifically from him because we never knew if he'd turn up high or turn up at all. But there were also issues with his two girls and whether or not they were going to be able to attend (his ex is an addict, as was her husband before he committed suicide.) Relationships with his ex were strained, so sometimes she'd let them come and sometimes not. Or she'd give permission and I'd arrange things accordingly (I was always the one who drove the almost 2 hour round trip to get them) and then she'd change her mind last minute.

It has been so much better this last couple of years, and so far this year it's just fine too. Just for today. :)
My son's addiction is something that happened TO HIM. It is NOT something he did TO ME.

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Blue Indigo
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by Blue Indigo » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:12 am

Yes, the holidays are always drama-filled. This year has already been chaotic and things are really heating up, with my AD banging around in her room at 4am, all riled up and ready to rumble. Yesterday my neighbors contacted us about my AD begging for money outside a nearby store while supposedly "working" for a shady petition-signature organization. (She is unemployable and we will give her NO cash). We confronted her about this unacceptable behavior, which elicited a firestorm, threats to "find out who is lying about me," and angry, self-righteous protests of her innocence.

Supposedly last night she celebrated her 4-month sobriety and received a chip. I've seen no evidence of a program working in her life, but am hoping to eventually see some change. Not my business, but I DO love my AD and want to see her succeed, both for herself and her sons. My youngest grandson comes tonight for the rest of the week and I am hoping this will calm her down a bit.

Not a great way to begin the holidays. So I'm trying to lay low and NOT agitate, NOT engage. This week I'm off from work, so I'm supposed to be getting some rest, taking a break from the stress of being a high-school teacher. I'm trying to turn my AD over to HP, but I'm terrible at it and exhausted by it all, right when the societal script says I should be energized by good feelings, food and family. So yes, the holiday season is hard for many of us, even more so since we have chaotic people in our lives who often act out at this time of year.

Thanks so much for this post, it really echoes what I've been feeling over the last several days.
Peg

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hopefulNE
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by hopefulNE » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:35 pm

Yes!
The holidays always seem to be a difficult time for my (R)AD, and I believe for a lot of other recovering addicts as well. I think that's why they often ramp up their meetings this time of the year.
I have found that the holidays can be stressful for me too! That's why I have discarded all my expectations of Hallmark holidays and stripped everything back to the few traditions that are most meaningful. Much more relaxing and manageable.
I hope you and your family can find your balance.
Pat
"Keep Calm and Carry On" - British Ministry of Information, WWII

Ma1954
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Re: Nov starts Isolation or Intensity....

Post by Ma1954 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:30 am

I remember one Christmas we went to visit my Mom at the nursing home. My son was sitting there nodding out the whole time. His cousins were laughing at him among themselves. I didn't know what the nodding out was, I thought he was tired. :( My Mom died that August. I have wasted so much of myself trying to fix him. Just too much. Sue
Sick and tired of being sick and tired

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