Day 8 of HIKMT’s 25 Ways in 25 Days to celebrate Christmas

Today’s Tip comes from Traci Domergue Weaver, from Alabama.

” Christmas and My Recovery ”

I’d love to be able to say every Christmas since I’ve been in Recovery has been absolutely wonderful, but being truthful and no longer sugar- coating my mistakes, I’d be lying through my teeth! If nothing else,  these last few years I’ve spent clean has been a work in progress,. I’m no longer the one showing up late, empty handed and high as a kite. But, deep inside I’m still kind of wary and paranoid, wondering if I’m still being talked poorly about and if they are just waiting for me to suddenly relapse? I don’t know how to not care what other’s think and expect of me. I don’t know how to prove to everyone that I’m standing firmly in my recovery with no plans of returning to that dark and lonely world.

My families tradition of all meeting up at my parents house between Christmas Eve and the following day has always pretty much been how it works out every year. I’m sure it runs smoother that way for everyone involved because that way we all aren’t there at the same time, and certain people won’t feel as awkward around others, if they time it right. I do get such a fulfilling anf happy feeling every year now as I look into my parents faces and seeing the relief, respect and love in their eyes. Before, it was fear of the unknown and a look of wondering if/who I was going to lash out at during my drugged haze?

I wonder at times why any of my family continued putting up with my crazy, uncalled for, ungrateful behaviors for any amount of time. Then, looking at my three grown daughters and knowing how much love and hope I have for them, I totally understand their reasons for not giving up on me! My Mama always says she not once doubted I’d eventually get sober/clean. In my opinion I should’ve got it together a lot sooner or better yet in a ” perfect ” world I wouldn’t have ever taken that road to drug addiction in the first place.

This Christmas will mark my fourth one in recovery and I wake up more than grateful everyday to have been given another chance to get it right. For too many years I stopped decorating and celebrating during the holidays, spending all my time and money on the drugs that I put before family and friends. I’d take any gifts I received back to the stores and put the money toward my fix. My drug addiction consumed every part of my life. I’d go without food and necessities to fuel my demons!

About halfway through this year I realized there were many websites, Facebook pages, online communities and blogs being written about drug addiction awareness, relapse and recovery. I got involved without ever thinking anything I said or did could ever make a difference one way or the other. Reading and joining in by sharing the messages of hope and encouragement has literally opened my eyes! We don’t have to keep losing our friends, and loved ones to addiction. Its traumatizing for families to have to look at the empty place at the table this holiday season wishing to see that smile just one more time!

Let’s try to spend this Christmas season giving back and helping the ones who need it. I think every community should rally together and give what they can toward a fund to help the less fortunate. Just think how many Christmas dinners could be purchased. Stuffing stockings for the children would be a true blessing for families struggling just to keep a roof over their head. I would love to be able to spend $10 to $ 20 and fill up at least 50-100 stockings or gift bags every Christmas! Recovery doesn’t have to become mundane or boring! Focus on the many ways you could be of service to your local community shelters, by donating canned goods to food pantries, giving out ” gently ” worn winter coats and shoes to families in need.

Taking small bags/baskets with fruit, puzzle books, trial sized lotions, a deck of cards and magazines to the elderly at the nursing homes would be a blessing. You may just be the only one to visit them this holiday season. I would like to get more involved with a soup kitchen to cook and serve to the ones that don’t have friends, family or loved ones to spend Christmas with this year.

All in all, why can’t we just treat everyday as a holida? Yes, even the rough ones. I’m always repeating in my head that a bad day in recovery sure beats the best day I EVER spent in active addiction! Being able to clearly be in the moment with my daughters and my grandbabies this year is a blessing in itself. Being able to share with my parents the gift of my recovery and continued abstinence is something you just can’t wrap!

Going into the year 2017, I will continue my stand against drug addiction and go to whatever lengths I’m capable of to make a difference for the ones continuing to struggle with the sickness of addiction! If your drowning in your addiction: stop, regroup, ask for help, and give yourself the precious gift of life in recovery…..

Don’t just be another bittersweet memory at next year’s Christmas celebration.

 

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Daily Reflection:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.
–Rainer Maria Rilke

We carry problems and discrepancies within us, quandaries that are not easily answered – and we have bigger questions about life and the world. Why did I act as I did in my younger years? Can my life partnership be happy again? How should I handle a secret that I carry? What is this thing we call Higher Power and God? 
We are on a journey and, in some ways, this journey is a quest for answers. The questions give energy and direction to our seeking. We cannot expect to get quick or easy answers. And some questions will always remain just that: questions. But we can learn to be patient with ourselves, tolerant of our incompleteness, and always curious about how it will all turn out.

Today I will practice patience with myself and embrace my unsolved questions as crucial elements in my quest.
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Shortcut to the Spirit of the Season:

Having an impact on others: Christmas cards can have a great impact. These simple cards are a sincere connection from one family to another and they are simply fun to get. Each has the power to touch us in a special way. Just receiving a card is an uplifting experience because each card you find in the mailbox means that someone cared enough to take the time to remember you. Christmas cards can be beautiful, funny, sentimental, or spiritual, so take a few extra moments to match your cards with those on your list. This personal element means the most.

A Christmas card touches others on a personal level. Easy to find, a card is one of the least expensive presents you can give during the holidays. No  matter when it arrives, a Christmas card warms the heart in a very special way.

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