Surviving the holidays

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nancy, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I always get worried when the SA forum is too quiet. It's just like when our difficult child's are too quiet, we get ready to expect the worst. We have several members who are going through difficult times right now and it's probably worth remembering that holidays seem to brings out the worst in our difficult children. Mine is no different and is one reason why holidays are very stressful.

    I led a support group meeting two weeks ago on surviving the holidays and it helped us think about what we can do to take care of ourselves. We may want to have a discussion on what we can do to make it through the next few weeks and help each other cope.

    One of the things I try to do now is to make the holidays as unstressful as possible. I gave up the normal crazy running around I'd done for years when the kids were younger and look for anything that will make the season more peaceful. I cut back on decorating and bought a smaller tree. I no longer decorate outside and instead drive around and look at the lights. I have a plan B ready if plan A falls apart. easy child and I have been known to go to the movies on Christmas Day. Most of all I remind myself that it is just another day and tomorrow it will be yesterday and over.

    Are you worried about the holidays? Do you find yourself geting more anxious around this time and not know why? Do your difficult child's seem more anxious or restless?
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I honestly don't know how I am going to get through today nevermind the holidays....I am not looking forward to them, either. I was, but not now... :(

    For Thanksgiving all I can eat is turkey, mashed potatoes and veggies. No sweets or anything. It is going be the worst one yet. doctor said to stay away from sugar and flour - what's left??

    I normally go Black Friday shopping but not impressed with the sales this year. We are only out to get a Playstation 3 bundle for easy child, anyway. We need a new tv, but wasn't impressed by anything I saw on sale.

    And now all I can picture is that my difficult child is hiding from this cartel that wants her dead. I'm not in a good place right now. Not at all. The holidays are only going to make it worse.
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    The holidays are really hard.... last year easy child, husband and I went out to dinner for Thanksgiving. Our kitchen was being rennovated and dhs parents went to Florida. This year his family has gone to Floriday (which in some ways is a relief) and I have decided that I will cook and it may just be the three of us. I have decided it is time for a new tradition of a relaxed day, with good food that i cooked and maybe a movie ro some games. Very low key... we have invited some friends but not sure they can come which is ok. A few years ago we did a smiliar thing for Xmas and it felt good really.

    I will just hope that difficult child finds a place with a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless..... but yeah trying not to get down about it this year.

    Good topic for us all to discuss I think.

  4. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    difficult child is not coming this year obviously. She said no way is she going to come and risk anyone else. She said she went and fed the homeless one year and is wanting to do that again this year. She said it is service work...

    I will make a turkey, taters, and veggies. Not much else I can eat...

    I will make chocolate cream pie for the boys and I will get something gluten free for me.

    Try to have as normal a Thanksgiving as we can for easy child's sake. husband doesn't know anything about difficult child's situation and I am in no rush to fill him in. I just told him that she was going to do her service work that day and wouldn't make it here. He smiled and seemed proud. I can't ruin his feelings about her. I just can't. And if I tell him about what is going on, he will cut her out forever. I can't do that. She is my baby. No matter what.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks TL I think so too. And PG trust me I know this is going to be a very tough one for you and I don;t expect you to be able to even think about the holidays right now. I had two of those years when difficult child was using/relapsing and I felt overwhelmed. Now that she is using and in denial I've decided I need to make my own holidays and not base them on what she is doing.

    I've taken two years to mourn the holidays of my past, to see if there was any way I could recapture the memories of yesterday. I longed to take her shopping and look at the decorations and have family around and make it OK but then I realized it hasn't been ok for many years and I was just expecting the impossible. So now I am trying to take care of myself.

    Last year I ordered our thanksgiving dinner from our club. I picked up the turkey and all the trimming the day before and just reheated everything. It was delicious and I had none of the stress of cooking and cleaning up. I did the same thing for this year although I am making my own mashed potatoe recipe. If difficult child wants to come she is welcome but if not that's OK too. We will watch the parade and eat and it will be a day like any other day.
  6. compassion

    compassion Member

    It will be different as husband will be in hospital. I love Thanksgiving and plan to cook a full meal. I am inviting my daughter and her boyfriend, my son and his girlfriend and their 8 month old baby. I practice detatchment and really enjoy the family time, last two years kids stayed less than an hour but I still really enjoy the tradition. Compassion
  7. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I was literally counting the days until January 2nd. After today's events, I just don't care anymore.

    Good news is that I lost 40 pounds and I am NOT going to put it back on no matter what happens. So, food, dinners, sweet, etc. are a nonevent to me.
  8. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My difficult child has not been around me for the holidays in many years (his choice). Thanksgiving my family has a get together where we all bring dishes. I usually make the turkey but another volunteered this year.

    difficult child is back with the girlfriend that I had to call the police to stop her harrassment. Of course, it's my fault. I don't even care - they both know she will never be welcome in my home. He called the police because she came after him with a knife while in a pain pill and alcohol fueled rage. He called the police and she was arrested and her family put all of his belongings on the street and a lot was stolen, or so he told me. Guess that has all been forgotten lol!

    I did not meet her or ask about her for one year, because as we all know, difficult children attract other difficult children and that has always been the pattern in my son. THEN they start to fight and want to draw me into the drama. NO!!! I have only met this one once and that was one time too many!

    My grand is visiting with her boyfriend and I am looking forward to that.

    I have been busy making birthday and Christmas gifts - but overall the holidays are just another day to me.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yikes, I am truly thankful that easy child/difficult child will not only be here but his SO and he are bringing the green bean casserole (his job for many years) and the mashed potatoes. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself because he has "some" brain damage but he and I have shared every holiday since he was a baby. This year we will have twelve. Next year I will not be "in charge" anymore. My heart will be with those of you who remain in crisis. Meanwhile I am thankful that we have leveled off a bit. Hugs DDD

    PS: When he was 18 we shared TDay dinner at the Brain rehab center. I will never forget to be thankful that my baby is alive, able to eat, and gives me a hug every day. Thank you, Lord.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have been invited to one of my close friend's house for Thanksgiving. We have spent Thanksgiving there before and enjoy their company. One worry, though, is that she is also my easy child's assistant principal and easy child is worried about how difficult child will behave.

    My friend and her husband know all about difficult child's problems and I told easy child I would keep a close eye on difficult child. Please keep your fingers crossed that we have an uneventful day.

    I don't think we have had a completely peaceful holiday season since difficult child was 15.

  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    {{{{{SA Family}}}}}

    Wishing you all a slice of peaceful pie this holiday season. You are amazing parents and friends.
  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am going to ramble a bit and be a little self centered. I am not feeling so great, I have a secondary infection from my surgery (not a big deal medically but a bummer) but I am eating a big piece of pity pie with tears ala mode. And the dang holidays, mother strife, and general melancholy are ringing their bells loudly in my aching head...

    Yesterday, our HS football team won the state championship. difficult child played on the team the last time they won state and pc15 will be a varsity player next year. PC15, difficult child and H went to the game at the big state university field. easy child sat with his friends, H sat with the boosters and difficult child sat with his friends who either attend Big U or who were on break specifically to cheer on their home team. FB is a pretty big deal in our town and our HS team is one of the state powerhouses and it's a big, beloved program with a lot of legacy pride, a full stadium every weekend and kids dream of playing for them someday. And it's a great program, they take the role model aspect very seriously and strive to create excellent men - not just excellent football players.

    H texted me to tell me our team won. I read his text and burst into tears.

    I remember when difficult child's team won. The mohawks, the jumping, the singing, the hugging. I have a picture of difficult child on the field, helmet in hand,mohawk at full mast - the bright lights of the tv crew behind him (incidentally, not interviewing him, he was a junior second stringer) and the ABSOLUTE joy on his face. A smile for a lifetime. It was probably the most joy I have ever seen on his face. No nerves, no trepidation, no trying to play it down - just 100% pure unadulterated happiness. A dream come true.

    And I remember the moment behind the camera. I was so happy for him. So happy to see him so joyous. At that very moment, it seemed liked DREAMS COME TRUE. His future still bright and shiny, the world was his for the taking; ANYTHING was possible.

    He sat in the stands with his fellow teammates and former best friends. Boys on the deans' list, who graduate in 3 semesters. H said he was posing as a fellow college student ...

    That's what I hate about the holidays (and state championships). You look at the trophy, or at grandma's china, or the baby's first Christmas ornament and you remember when all things seemed possible. When your heart wasn't so damn battered, when a statement like " he is in jail" was a worst nightmare, not a mother's answered prayer....because the ghost of Christmas present can't hold a candle to the ghost of Christmas past...and the ghost of Christmas future is filled with trepidation...

    And I write this to you *as a secret glimpse inside my heart *...not wallowing and the smile will be plastered on my face just as sure as leftover mashed potatoes will be stuck to the china...

    9 for dinner on Thursday at my house which is doable but still some work. My *itchy* sister in law, bro and their family declined - even though it's "our" year to host. That bridge is pretty close to burnt. Not even a call or a card when I had surgery. (All because I asked her to cool her contact with difficult children (now ex) girlfriend on facebook last March. C'est La Vie)

    I wish we could all meet for dinner on 1/2/2013
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Signoria I got slightly teary reading your post. Our family, like yours, was blessed to celebrate championships and the pure unadulterated joy of watching, sharing and feeling the euphoria. I'm not sure if it is easier to accept difficult child life if your child has just been "normal". From experience I know it is easier when your difficult child has always been a difficult child, been there done that. At my age you would think I would have the wisdom to "know" whether it was a blessing or a hex. Either way I feel your communication and send understanding hugs. DDD
  14. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Me too....

    I'm glad you are thinking about yourself. Please don't stop doing that.

    I was sitting in Celebrate Recovery last night, crying. The couple on the pew behind me had their 6 month old with them. I kept looking at that baby and thinking about difficult child. Then I cried more.

    My friend, who went with me to get difficult child's car yesterday, told me she once was so jealous of the close relationship difficult child and I had. I miss him. I got a glimpse of him for a while a month or so ago and then addition grabs him again.

    So.....Sig my friend, I GET IT. Vent when you need. Vent all you need.

    I wish peace for you and hope your infection is better soon.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sig a couple things you brought to mind for me. Several months ago at our parent support group we brought pictures of our addicts in that showed them in happier times. The one I chose was when her summer softball team won the city championship. husband was the manager. I took a picture of him handing her the trophy and high fiving her. The team was made up of several girlfriend's of hers that have been playing together for years. It was a fun summer and she looked so happy. I cried as everyone passed the picture around. I still cry when I look at it.

    FWIW I still can't go to our hs football games because difficult child was on the flag team and it makes me too sad.

    The other thing is that last year I could not bear to put up our normal ornaments with all the reminders. I bought a new tree, smaller with colored lights instead of our white lights. I needed a change, couldn't have all those remiders around. And shopping was an enormous effort, many stores held too many memories and I hated hearing the music and watching all the young kids so excited and remembering all the hopes and dreams I had for mine at that age.

    So I understand and it's good that you let us see inside your heart because it is a welcome place for all our battered hearts.

    I don't much like holidays either but I have a easy child that I need to be mindful all, as do you and so I try to find ways to be kind to myself and I hope you do the same.