2020 was a heck of a year, wasn’t it? My favorite commercials were the ones where 2020 is a woman who meets Satan on Match.com. So apropos!! But guess what? If you’re reading this, you made it through it. For some of you, your recovery program is stronger than ever, but for others, you may feel as if you’ve gotten lost somewhere or as if you’re not as connected to your recovery as you were before all this. Don’t worry, this is completely understandable and totally normal. What we went through with this pandemic was unprecedented! We people in recovery had to adapt. We can be grateful we learned that we can stay connected and continue building a solid program of recovery by whatever means necessary. 2020 taught us to keep putting one foot in front of the other as a community.
I really missed all those warm hugs I used to get from my sober friends. I missed the intimacy of small, in-person, group meetings and the fellowship of large group meetings. I remind myself, though, the important thing is I stayed sober. My takeaway from 2020 is: if I want to continue to stay sober, I have to make sure my program is working for me, today, on today’s terms.
I spent my first holiday in recovery in rehab. The structure of living in a recovery facility made it simple to stay sober. (Notice, I didn’t say “easy.”) I was surrounded by people in recovery. I went to meetings 2-3 times a day. I was fed at regular times. I had a bedtime and a time to get up for breakfast. I did things I was told to, such as call people for support and help clean up after dinner. All of it simple. I rarely had to think about what to do next. The next right thing was always just the next thing on the schedule.
What about now? There is so much to do and so much craziness to navigate in the real world. How do we know what the next right thing is?
How will I deal with the holidays?
We all have expectations for the holidays. We want everything to go right, be fun, but the reality for some is that it’s a sad time of the year. Stress, fear and sadness comes from many directions. It can be from over committing, trying to make everything perfect or loneliness. But for most of us it has to do with our daily struggle because of addiction.
We’re not alone. There are many that struggle, even the ones that fake their way through it. When we see all those cheerful people in the malls looking all happy, you’d be surprised how many actually feel blue. They just don’t want to be honest and show their true feelings. Many of us have to deal with the crazy relatives, parties you don’t want to be at, or the long lines at the stores. Why do you think they call it: “Surviving the holidays.”
Happy SOBER Holidays
Last night, 26 women came together for a workshop called “Happy Sober Holidays”. Ann, Shiba, Air and Sara shared their challenges with holidays – family, friends, expectations, perfectionism, finances, etc. – and how they have dealt with these challenges. Their honesty and wisdom was inspiring.