This week’s guest post is a bit of a departure for us, as we normally don’t focus on any celebrity goings-on. However, we were so inspired by Marlee Matlin’s candor about receiving her 30-year chip that we just had to share this… Matlin went to the Betty Ford Center in 1987 to receive treatment for her drug addiction.
I don’t know what it’s like for those who don’t suffer from anxiety and depression, but for me, mood and motivation remains a constant roller coaster. I swing high for a period of time, and then crash down into varying degrees of low. When you’re trying to stay sober, this adds an added layer to the challenges. A week or two ago, I felt like a different person. Now, as we round out the second week of the new year, I’m having to deal with old demons once again.
Everybody is posting New Year’s resolutions via social media. Meanwhile, my 41 year old butt is over here thinking, “Hahahaha, clearly these folks aren’t in a 12 step group or have learned from years of failed resolutions like myself!” Maybe I’m being a bit judgmental but if I asked for a show of hands what percentage of folks kept those resolutions all year long; my guess would be very few hands would be raised.
Remember that pivotal scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary when she tells her friends that Mark Darcy has told her he likes her “very much – just as you are“? They react with wide-eyed amazement. “Just as you freakin’ are?” one of them repeats with disbelief. It’s so simple yet rare to have that kind of love, right?
Though it may be hard to believe at first, being sober over the holidays doesn’t have to be dull. When you come up with a plan, and stop and focus on the reasoning behind your sobriety, you’ll remember why it’s important. And once the holidays pass, you’ll be glad you didn’t give in to temptations. That’s a promise.
Ahhhhhh…..the holidays—they are approaching like a speeding train. This is a season that can be bittersweet—for the great expectations that so many people have can often lead to disappointment. Seeing family and friends can be a blessing, but at the same time lead to additional seasonal stress. Answering the same questions over and over again can trigger intense emotions. Did you graduate yet? Are you still at that lousy job? Any kids? Are you still single? And comparing yourself to your seemingly “perfect” family members with their high-powered jobs, wonderful marriage and 2.5 children can be a recipe for the holiday blues.
The holiday season can be a joyous time, but for those in recovery from drug or alcohol addictions, it can also be a minefield. High expectations, over-commitment, and fatigue can lead to heightened emotions and mood swings. Travel and busy schedules increase stress. You might be away from your support network and routines, enhancing a feeling of isolation. Holiday customs, memories, and events associated with alcohol or other drug use may tug at you. But there are ways to prepare for this high-risk season and safeguard the greatest gift you ever gave yourself and those you love: your sobriety.
Fall is my favourite season, always has been. I love the colours, I love the cool air, and I love the sound of walking through fallen, dried leaves. I even like a cloudy fall day because even though the sky is cloudy and dull, the beautiful oranges and reds and yellows showcase a beauty that will not be shown up by a grey sky. I recently returned from a month long work tasking on a ship. It’s amazing how small you can feel on the upper decks of a ship surrounded by nothing but ocean and blue sky. No land as far as the eye can see.