My Holidays, Before & After, Sobriety

Contributor: Michael Mesveskas, Pathway to Hope Alumni

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Ever since I can remember I couldn’t wait for that time in late November when everyone seemed a little happier and willing to bring “joy to the world” and “peace on earth” to everyone.

As a child, the holiday season seems magical with the Christmas tree lit up, aunts and uncles who you rarely see bringing you new toys to play with, school was out, and family coming together.

As I grew older all the things I enjoyed about the holiday were quickly squashed by my addiction, and easily became one of the most stressful times of the year.

Everyone Knew Except Me

The last holiday in my addiction I was at a point where many addicts find themselves, where everyone around me realized I had a problem except for me.

The holidays had turned into me sneaking around, asking myself if I looked like I had too much to drink and wondering if someone could smell the alcohol on my breath until eventually it became evident to everyone what I had been sneaking around doing all night.

It was impossible to enjoy the time with family when my addiction was tearing me away from them, convincing me that they were judging me. During my addiction the holiday season did nothing more than amplify my isolation.

A Weird, Sober Holiday

sunset-520812_640My first holiday in sobriety seemed to be one of the weirdest most awkward things I could go through at the time. It felt odd to be going to an AA meeting on Thanksgiving night, and the first time I went home for Christmas I was scared to leave my parents home or be anywhere in the house without someone knowing where I was.

I was so used to doing the wrong thing that my first holiday doing the right thing seemed like in fact the weird thing to do at first. As weird as it felt, I can remember that my first holidays in sobriety were once again filled with those feelings I had as a child.

I was able to enjoy the time with my family because and they in turn were able to enjoy the time with me rather than be stressed out that it might be the night that something bad finally happens.

Getting Better and Better

Today each holiday season gets better and better, filling itself with the same childish excitement it once had when I was a little kid.

The weird awkward feeling I once had around the holidays is gone, sobriety has allowed me and those around me to once again enjoy the holidays and everything that comes with it.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addiction. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 22nd, 2014
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