Sunday, December 20, 2015
Falling Into Christmas
I subscribe to the WFS newletter and received this gem in my inbox this morning. I wished I would have received it earlier, before the madness of the holiday got in full swing, but it's not too late to salvage the most important and reverent days of this holiday. I think it interesting that Jean (Jean Kirkpatrick died in 2000 and this was taken from the WFS archives) says we should use our painful memories to bring us the joy that we sought so long while drinking. But it is so true, those painful, excruciating memories are so often the only things standing between me and a bottle of Jack Daniels. I love also that she describes herself as someone that fell into Christmas trees, she's my kind of gal. If anyone of you would like information about how to subscribe to the WFS newletter, I'm your gal.
Now, how about we quit making new painful memories and start repurposing those old ones? Love you guys!
Christmas Cheers?Christmas Blues?
Jean Kirkpatrick, Ph.D.
This is the time of year for families, for relationships, for friendships to get together. It is also a time of merriment. But, most of all, it is a time of worship for a large part of the world. Yet this is so often muted or forgotten in the mad pace of the Holiday Season.
This is also the time of year when it seems as if the whole world is drinking. Every time I turn around, someone is suggesting I have a drink. Everywhere I go I see bottles of liquor, wine and beer. Everyone seems to be drinking or talking about drinking. Where was all of this free-flowing alcohol when I was drinking? Did it flow as freely then and I missed it? Or maybe I was the one drinking it without knowing it? That’s possible!
And all this leads me to ask, why do Americans celebrate this holiest of all periods with alcohol, alcohol, alcohol?
Every Holiday Season I am reminded of those many terrible years when I put so many persons through hell, myself included. I can remember, even now so many years later, the shakes, the hangovers, the remorse, the guilt, and the empty promises. “No, I'll NEVER do it again. I’m so sorry I ruined your Holiday,” I said, as I wondered where I’d get the money to get a drink to recover. Or who I would visit to get the drinks I needed, and craved, and lied for.
Oh, I thought it was so hilarious to help friends trim their Christmas trees and then fall into them accidentally because I was drunk. That was funny... wasn’t it? Now, all these years later, I feel disgust and pity for that drunken woman who was a disgrace to herself and to any who knew her. I also feel great compassion, for there will be so many like her this year... next year... and all the years to follow.
There is little humor connected to a drunken woman, yet I let myself be conned into thinking that I was the life of the party. Never did I see that I was the fool of the party, that my actions were simply indefensible on any other grounds than that I was sick in body, mind, and spirit. Yet that still did not, nor does not, take away the ill feeling, the sadness, the unhappiness I caused so many others.
These musings of mine do not much help those of you who are still suffering during this Season. I want to help you, for I feel great compassion toward, and for, those of you who wish the Holidays were over because of the temptations that surround you. And I feel even more compassion for those of you who are unaware of the temptation that you might so innocently succumb to. “Awe come on, just have one. It won’t hurt you. And, anyway, you can’t be the only one without a drink to toast the Season, can you?” Oh, yes you can.
Although this Season is tough for you, never let yourself be conned into believing there is nothing you can do.
There is a great deal you can do. There are symptoms we can observe and then take actions to counter them. If we are edgy, or feel uneasy, or are ill-tempered, or angry often, or are depressed more than ever, or fatigued, or eating when not hungry, or very nervous, or generally out-of-sorts, now is the time to examine these emotions very carefully. These feelings oftentimes mask our deeper subconscious feeling of wanting to drink. We feel left out, not one of the crowd, sometimes we even feel rejected, but we don’t permit ourselves to know that we are reacting in sublimated ways.
Early in the Holiday Season it is advisable for all of us to review our feelings about drinking and about all of the alcohol flowing around us. Are we feeling good about ourselves or do we feel, that at any moment, we will ‘slip,’ let temptation overcome us? Are we able to think clearly and realistically about our terrible days of drinking during other Holiday Seasons and now feeling true happiness for our sobriety and our good physical feelings, to say nothing about our mental and spiritual feelings?
Oftentimes the most effective deterrent to our ever drinking again is the way we are able to remember the sad, and terrible, and awful, and unhappy, and sometimes, tragic times of years gone by. These painful memories should help us to feel the happiness and joy we should be celebrating now.
Those days of endless pain and constant recurring remorse are over, gone forever. Now, this Season, we are able to feel good about ourselves. We know that we are in charge of ourselves and our actions. No one in this world can make any of us drink... only we can do that. Now is the time to know, beyond any shadow of a lingering doubt, that we are alcoholic persons who cannot drink for physiological reasons. We have a disease that is treatable and we are doing just that.
Today, during this Holiday Season, we take charge of ourselves and know the truest joy and happiness in this Season. We are confident about ourselves, and we know that we are truly blessed in our ability to handle ourselves.