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I figure there can be 4 types of alcoholics on holidays.
1. The type that dreads the holdiay because we are going to let down ourselves and family...either by not showing up for holiday functions or showing up but drinking the whole time and much to everyones dissappointment (including ours)...making everyone feel uneasy..and ending not having a "good" time because of the atmosphere we create when under the influence (tense and distant).
2. The type that doesn't show up...but sits home and drinks even more because of the self loathing from the drink. We have let everyone down..and this type suffers more depression because it is never ok with us and usually not ok with others that we are missing holiday events due to our drinking.
3. The third type...the type that has stopped drinking and is happy to attend the holiday to be able to show that the drinking is under control. Able to enjoy some of the laughter and joy that can be shared on the holidays. And even able to participate in any holiday dysfunction within families rationally and come home feeling accomplished and human again.
4. The alcoholic who will show up to all functions...think they are the life of the party...and some very rare families have accepted that this is who we are. But, in my experience for the years that my family was forced to accept my alcoholic self....I was the only one having a "good" time and they were disgusted with me.
I know depending on where each of us are on the spectrum with our drinking today....that alcohol is always the bottom line. It seems that our relationship with alcohol always dictates how our holidays will be.
Anyone who is alone this holiday or attending a function drinking...I feel for you as I have been there many times in the last 2 years. I couldn't wait for the day to be over...so the guilt and self hatered would stop.
I don't take anyone who's drinking today "the pain" lightly. I get it and it makes me so sad to think that there are people going thru this H*LL today.
I am grateful that I am #3 today...able to go out with some family...not drinking...and enjoy whatever the day brings. I know there is some apprehension in my family as they are wondering where I am on the spectrum right now (I usually blow all holidays). So it will bring me joy to show up...but their joy will be lessened...because UNTIL I show up....they live with apprehension because of my alcoholism.
I can't wish a Happy holiday to all because I know it won't be a happy holiday for all. I just wanted to look back and reflect and also let others know....if you are suffering this holiday....know that there are other holidays...that you may "make" it to sober...and if you can just not beat yourself up today...realize you have a serious condition and make the best of the day that you can. And to be thankful that you are still alive..and as long as we wake up everyday...we always have a "chance".
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