How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

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How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby PaigeB » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:10 pm

It is that time of year again - Stupid daylight savings time in the US... I want it to be dark at 4pm ~ said no one ever.

And then it is coming into the holidays. I have "custody" of my mom this year... her little joke. Every other year she travels to another state far away to be with my brother's family. And then there are the finances - I have trouble with all this cost and waste of this time of year.

Sounds like I need to add this to my inventory! Writing inventory is one way to handle feelings that come up in the holidays. But I always act like the holidays don't really matter so much - then I get blind-sighted by some small expectation I seem to have set ~ unknowingly, and for some poor individual who has no idea. I can lose all sanity over sugar free jello!

So even though I have a few 24 hours since my last drink I am not looking forward to the holidays. One thing I have done in the past (and did again this year) is to serve as my group's Chair for the meetings in December.

What practical action helps you get through or what do you want to try this year? Asking for a friend, LOL.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby jenko » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:07 pm

I'm with ya. I don't really care for this time of year, either. I could go on a European vacation for what I spend during Christmas... maybe I'm a miser? :lol:
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Barbara D. » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:33 pm

I'm not sure why, but my main reaction-thought to your post, Paige, was : To thine own self be true. Throughout the year, drunk and in sobriety, the Holidays were a time that I beat myself to death with the "supposed tos." And I'd write scripts. I'll do and say this. And you'll do and say that. I was really quite dishonest. And when I'm playing the role I think I'm supposed to play, I put myself under more stress than I'd ever tolerate from anyone else.

And there's a matter of Christmas as a Christian event. It was a time of year when my mother and father worked together for a mutual purpose, getting the tree situated and decorated, going to the woods and cutting greenery for a homemade wreath. Sure I loved getting presents, but that family time was really priceless. I felt guilty because I rejected religion when I was in the 6th Grade and had been told again and again that Christmas was only for Christians. But I just loved having a real tree in the house and being mesmerized by the lights. At some point in my 20s ?, 30s? I came to believe that Christmas is an international holiday and can be honored/experienced as each person sees fit. I know I am more kind and more generous, more loving at Christmas than any other time of year, so I must be doing something right!

The pressure was on again when I felt it was my duty to see that everybody in my immediate family had a good Christmas. I wanted everything "perfect" for my parents, my boys, and even my then-husband. Recovery helped me deal with this surge of being in charge around the holidays.

I've been divorced 30 years, my kids are in their early 40s, my parents have been dead for decades. When I hit 70, I finally told my daughter-in-law that I couldn't shop for everybody any more. So I just give her money and she buys stuff online whereas I had to deal with traffic and the chaos in stores as well as my deflated ego when someone returned my gift for something they actually wanted.

The holidays are simple again for me. I'm roasting the turkey for Thanksgiving at my son"s house. And it will soon be time to pick out my little Christmas tree and start my new holiday traditions in my TN house!

I hope I said something that rang a bell, Paige! This was a great topic for me! Barbara, alcoholic every day of the year!
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Db1105 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:56 pm

Since my last drink was on December 24, the Holiday season is something I look forward to. As the saying goes, you're as happy as you make up your mind to be. If i don't like something or how I'm feeling, I change it.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:41 am

Ram Das the spiritual master says: If you think you are enlightened be with your parents for a week! Holidays whole different story. For us we don't have the culture of giving gifts and that takes the pressure off us. But It is difficult to be around un-conscious folks, spiritually speaking. You can see even everywhere not just at home. Three options as Ekchart says: try to fix it, get out of there, be there but observe the pain. We do one of them with no negativity. Lot of meditation and prayer. Most groups have marathon meetings around holidays. Yes, taking service commitments around that time takes the attention off personal issues.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby positrac » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:10 am

Holidays are not really an issue for me because of the years I spent away from familiar surroundings and I learned to deal with what was in front of me. The real question is do we make more out of the holidays than we should? Are these periods of time over-rated? What is so different in this season that is not present during the rest of the year? I am also referring to family because we have access to them non stop with technology. I surround myself with people I want to be around and not because some unspoken rule tells me I have to be around them. I stopped that years ago and I hear people talk about family and dread the holidays and so maybe my own traditions with my wife and grandkids are what memories are made of.

Just a thought on options this season.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:31 am

I don't have family. Otherwise I ignore the holidays as much as possible. I think the deep meaning of either Thanksgiving or Christmas is lost and don't participate in commercialism or over eating.

For Thanksgiving, I am going to a nearby city and running 3 marathons in 3 days. For Christmas, I'll go running in a park; and otherwise be at work. Over New Years, I'm running a 55 hour race.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Roberth » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:45 pm

Hi Paige. My first one was hard, I think I was too worrying about making a year. My DOS is 1-1-92. Being an atheist the holidays doesn’t hold any of the religious overtones but I like the way a lot of the earth people act this time of year. I learned to embrace the holidays when I got involved with the homeless. For me it started with becoming part of an AA group that held meetings in a park for the homeless. I have learned being of service to others makes a big difference with me. What funny is we started do something a bit special for Christmas and now I can’t think of a better place to be than Los Angeles Skid Row on Christmas Eve.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby positrac » Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:49 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:For Thanksgiving, I am going to a nearby city and running 3 marathons in 3 days. For Christmas, I'll go running in a park; and otherwise be at work. Over New Years, I'm running a 55 hour race.


Your just plum ate up with all of that running business. :wink: I used to be an avid long distance runner and until my knees started going south it was a nice way to get lost and just look at nature. Now I walk really well and I figure I can burn enough calories speed walking and I have no knee issues. Hopefully you'll win some bling for your efforts on those marathons.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby desypete » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:16 am

it used to be a nightmare for me and my kids as xmas once we lost tony my son
its no fun at all on xmas day and all you can do is try to accept he isnt there anymore
its certainly no fun going to the cemetery on xmas day to visit the most precious thing in your life

all i know is that 5 years have passed and its got that little bit easier but i think about my mum and my dad who died many years ago and wish they could be there just one more time
sadly i am all things to my kids as they only have me we have no other family so dad is it for them so i have to try to live up to being dad all strong all giving never moaning always there for them

good job i have you guys in aa for me so i can have my moans i can scream when it hurts and my kids dont see it

anyway like i said its got a lot easier over the years we as a family at first refused to do anything at all at xmas time without tony with us but now we have a dinner and i buy them a few presents each to open and we even play a board game or to just trying to carry on as normal

now i could never believe i could carry on in my life like i do many years ago when i was a 24 / 7 drunken bum and my kids now just accept me as a sober man to them its now normal for dad to be sober which is what i should of always been like

but if it wasnt for aa i would have had no chance
hence i will be out at a meeting on xmas day to give my thanks and to help someone else who might be falling on hard times

we all have our crosses to bear at xmas time not everyone is having a great time or enjoying it but we just have to get on with it and try to be grateful if we can
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby gaftech » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:08 pm

desypete wrote:it used to be a nightmare for me and my kids as xmas once we lost tony my son
its no fun at all on xmas day and all you can do is try to accept he isnt there anymore
its certainly no fun going to the cemetery on xmas day to visit the most precious thing in your life


I can definitely relate to this. We lost our only child, Allison (22 YO), 29 Dec. 2010. I was a heavy drinker before then, but that was nothing compared to how much I drank after losing her. That first year was rough. Through the ensuing years it became cyclical: I would start drinking heavier around October as the holidays started approaching and wouldn't taper off until February or March. This year I finally made the decision to stop the madness (10-16-17). Because of my work schedule, I attend meetings as much as I can, usually about 4 to 5 a week. I have yet to get a sponsor, but it shouldn't be too much longer.

While I still feel her loss as deeply as I did before, I can actually say I really "feel" the loss this year. Is it going to be rougher? Perhaps, but in my heart of hearts, I know my baby girl is with God and both of them are very proud of me for taking this step. They are my Higher Power, and with their help and guidance, and that of AA, I will remain sober until the day I get to meet them face to face.
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Mike O » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:04 am

My feeling regarding Christmas has always been, if it's causing you stress, you're doing it wrong.

I enjoy the Christmas Spirit on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gift giving is a part of this and I accept that. Otherwise, I try to ignore the materialistic aspects of Christmas based around greed, gluttony, stressing out about whether or not everybody is going to be happy, etc.
As a Catholic, Christmas is primarily for me the feast of the Nativity. I keep it that way whilst allowing those around me to keep it in theirs.

I no longer allow myself to get annoyed by the commercialism.

:D
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby mule » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:51 pm

Sounds trite, cliche, and simple but I have taken steps to downsize and simplify everything in my life. For me it works. Just a thought...Festivus?
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Mike O » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:48 am

Festivus.
:lol:

Couldn't we work "the airing of grievances" into the programme somehow?
=biggrin
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Re: How do you personally cope with the Holiday Blues?

Postby Db1105 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:11 am

I try to live life like every day is a holiday.
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