Letting the Holiday Stress Go

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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Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by SDIN2T » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:01 pm

There is so much I can't change, and I accept that as my wife and 2 oldest sons are in the garage, stoned on heroin. The holiday stress always intensifies as the big day gets closer and there is too much to get done in the amount of time left. The tree still doesn't have ornaments on it, the house is a mess, and gift shopping still isn't done.

I'm not looking for the Norman Rockwell Christmas, but it pains me because my non-addict kids (and grandkids) will not have the Christmas that I wish for them. For years they've suffered the effects of living with addiction in their lives, which became worse as I found my recovery and stopped covering up for my wife and sons. The addict behavior is on full display for all to see because I no longer hide it. But they are the collateral damage and don't deserve it. I accept my contribution to addiction, but they are innocent.

If my wife sobers up enough, soon enough, she'll go out gift shopping all night tonight and into Sunday. She won't be driving, but she'll be drinking the entire time because she carries liquor in her purse. Kinda like the old Visa commercial, "Don't leave home without it". The drinking and lack of sleep will make her unbearable to be around once she finally comes home, maybe with gifts, maybe not. But I know I am powerless to change her. But it still makes me sad because the other kids will have a crappy Christmas, and they don't deserve that.

What I can control is me and how I act around the rest of the family. Many years ago to avoid eating dinner at midnight (no exaggeration), I took over 99% of the cooking in my house. I really enjoy cooking and it's my escape from all things related to addiction. I can completely lose myself in the process of menu prep, shopping, cooking, and yes, even clean up. I have the power to at least prepare a fantastic meal for my family regardless of what my addicts do or don't do.

I come from an Italian Catholic family and food was always a big part of any holiday. Growing up, on Christmas Eve, we always celebrated the Fest of the Seven Fishes and I've been doing this with my family since the kids were little and I can't wait to create this meal on Sunday. On Christmas I'll make a ham, smoke a 16lb Brisket, make fresh pasta noodles from scratch and make 2 different sauces. Throw in several sides and we'll have an awesome Christmas dinner.

I can't cover up or fix the disaster my wife may cause, but I can do the best I can for what is under my control so my family will have Christmas memories centered around sharing a couple dinners together. JFT that is enough for me. I'll let the holiday stress go and concentrate on the relationships I have with my family.

: Peace
And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life - JK Rowling

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by endoftheroad » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:11 pm

Bless you JR! You are a testament to "how it works". I gotta say, I could not do it anymore. Just can't have addiction around me....... ;)

That being said, you are providing a loving and kind center for the rest of your family! And a luscious Italian meal at Christmas is a great gift to all of them! I grew up with polenta and fish the night before Christmas. Loved the polenta!

I also grew up watching my mother drink her way through Christmas and listen to Johnnie Mathis endlessly. I still can't bear to hear his voice! I turned out okay because of the love of my father and my grandparents! Please know you are making a HUGE difference to the rest of your family!

I am praying for your peace and the peace of your family! ox Susan
This is the easier softer way.....

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by vscook » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:31 pm

You are providing a wonderful gift to your family! Don’t measure yourself against some imaginary Norman Rockwell standard. Your grandkids only know what is here and now, and you have done your best to give them a wonderful Christmas. Wishing you a blessed holiday.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present.

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by Claytonmomof2 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:43 pm

Hugs to you and what a great way to focus on what you can control. I’ve always enjoyed cooking but haven’t done it much recently. Your dinner plans sound awesome! Those will be memories the family will always remember.

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by simplemom » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:07 pm

JR, thank you for your share.

Not only does addiction play a role in the way we ‘think’, but the holiday season has enough ‘reminders’ as to what I DO NOT NEED TO DO!

Been at this long enough. What works for me is not to react and not to say a thing and smile. (when I can…a true testament to my resolve). Hard work to feel comfortable in this decision making process. And honestly, the more I muster up my courage, find the words (so hard, but I do it) to stand by ME…the better it is.

You work a strong program. Stay strong. This will pass. This family is supporting you!

I truly hope you can find the peace and happiness despite addiction. I find it. It usually means to shut my mouth and let it develop. And put a period at the end of a chaotic day, not brought on by me!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Karen (simplemom)
"I am not afraid of storms, I am learning to sail my own ship."
Louise May Alcott

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by DeanW » Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:27 pm

I wrote something about Christmas this morning - and then deleted it. I have a daughter who most feel has been sober for over 6 years. I need to stop complaining about the little things.

But, I failed this year and I'm OK with it, too. I love it that you enjoy cooking...I am having some trouble getting started. Two kids and spouses will not be present - one, because they don't want to be and the other because they are visiting my SIL's family in another state. Tomorrow night we will have my daughter and her her husband and their two sons...we'll see how it goes...less people may be better.

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by Sqbear42 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:29 pm

Your holiday meal sounds amazing!


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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by Blue Indigo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:42 am

My gosh, what a freakin’ amazing post! I am not the cook you are but have struggled with these same issues
over and over, year after year.We can’t fix them but CAN work on our response to their imbalance, their chaos. Thank you for sharing your strength, experinece and HOPE most of all, since that’s what this season is “about.” SHALOM.

"When the student is ready, the teacher appears."

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by Ma1954 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:42 am

Wowee! JR, homemade pasta with two different sauces. Merry Christmas to you and your kids. Sue
Sick and tired of being sick and tired

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by flash » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:58 am

We are quite a resilient family.
Finding the gratitude and peace among chaos.
What a difference you are making in so many lives / both your families there and here.
The meals sound amazing. May I come for dinners?
May you find some peace and loving kindness around you these next few days.
Thank you for your sharing.
Love, Donna

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by Jade11 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:55 pm

Wow, brisket and fresh pasta noodles! Your dinner menu sounds delicious!
Your posts are filled with such strength and spirit. What a blessing for your kids and grandkids to gather with you over a lovely meal.
I pray you have a wonderful holiday. Thank you for sharing. xx

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by LKSG8R » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:46 pm

Thank you for sharing how you deal with this bittersweet time of year. It helped me get through today, and I am so grateful for you and this program.
It works if you work it. Merry Christmas, JR.

Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

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Re: Letting the Holiday Stress Go

Post by slm219 » Tue Dec 26, 2017 2:57 pm

Hi JR.
Wow, dinner sounded amazing.....hope all went well. and really who has the "Norman Rockwell" Christmas anyway! You are doing the best you can and that is all we can do.
Your family is very lucky to have you and the memories YOU are creating for the little ones.
Even a small star shines in the darkness.

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