November 24, 2011

The Turkey Beats the Clock

Thanksgiving is looking good so far, if  I can accept that the turkey's done a whole hour ahead of time! 

"I realize that special celebrations like this were always hard while I was growing up in my dysfunctional family.  The atmosphere often seemed unhappy because my mom would get very angry before the holidays." Was it because there were so many expectations that we could never meet them? If so, no wonder the days were so painful. Holidays, I think, must still be hard for my mom, even now that I am grown. "The difference is I don't live at home anymore, and now I am a member of a 12 Step fellowship."

 I knew, in the midst of the confusion of our holidays each fall and winter of my youth that there had to be a funner, more satisfying way to spend the time! I continue to learn to act on that knowledge. Program teaches me that I have choices. I can let go of what is not in my control, and master the aspects of life that are in my control. 

Each year I make the decision to celebrate the  season in a slightly new way. Some years I make food to share with others, some years I just find time to spend peacefully with myself and my family. One member of our fellowship has a new tradition of not sending cards at all.  I give myself permission to send cards, one at a time, throughout the fall, beginning with Halloween (fun cards), Thanksgivnig (gratitude cards) and ending in January (new year's wishes)..

When I had a relapse last holiday, I sent my cards at Easter.

One day I would like to begin a new tradition, of celebrating with "friends and spiritual family in recovery."  That might make things extra special, too.

For me it has been some 26 years since I dared to spend a holiday with the FOO!  I am so grateful to have taken a different course today, to find simple and honest ways to enjoy the holidays. "My friends in the program help me heal my childhood by creating happy memories today."For those of you that spend  holiday time with blood relatives today, I trust you  "can accept the challenge of that choice."  

As a child, I  knew that God had not made me so that I would be ever sad.  But it took work to reclaim my birthright, of joy.  May today be good for all of us, however we choose to celebrate. 

from HFT, 11/22

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