Holiday Atop A Smith-Corona

Memorial Day. Holidays have taken a difficult spin for me. In the past two years, years I was homeless, in an institution, or treatment center, or hospital (well, you get the picture,) the holidays just pass on by like any other day.

No gifts. No feasts. No laughter from the young, or smirks from the old. All I can remember from last Christmas was sad faces, drugged up faces… faces of those wishing they were somewhere else – anywhere else – and with someone else.

I was just grateful I was not in the snow, freezing.

Today, though, even though I am not with my family or little kids to remind of the REAL importance of life, I was safe.

Here, at the house, there was a BBQ. There were steaks on the grill smoking and sizzling away. Baked potatoes wrapped in foil, waiting for butter. There were guys from the house outside playing corn hole (a game that seems to be played in every rehab and treatment center and detox unit I have ever been in.)

Some good things are out there; happening outside of my room. The weather is nice and bright and cool.

There is no blood.

There is no dirt and grime smeared on my face.

No stitches or casts, or the rash-burns of discomfort.

It’s just a nice day.

Is there some discontent in my head?


But even though I have some wandering, not-so-pleasant thoughts, I am safe!

What will it be like in a year? If I were honest, and I must be honest while I am at the keyboard, I fear the future holidays. I fear it because I know it will take a couple of holiday visits to acclimate myself with The Family again. It will take time for people to welcome me back. I would like for things to be balanced, but I am not blind to the complexities of other peoples’ emotions, thoughts, conceptions and beliefs. It is hard to Keep It Simple when a person is complex. People, in general, are simple. People (in large numbers,) are not that difficult to fathom. One on one, on the other hand, is something completely different.

But it is going to happen: Holidays with my family.

The bonfires.

Watching people unwrap Christmas gifts.

Roasted turkey.

Colorful eggs to be hunted for.


Hell, for the sake of my psychological well-being, it has to happen. And that may seem selfish, but so what!

It’s better than what was going on. I did the Long Kiss Goodnight to family… or, so I thought.

That’s right.

There was a time, while I was down and out in Youngstown, I thought I would never see family again. I said Goodbye to them, in my head. That was terrible. And I lived in a terrible way. It gave me even more of an excuse to mourn – to drown and to suffer and to drink and use. Any excuse would work.

Now, even with some feelings of resignation, it has to happen. To see them. And to know they were always there… to see them will be an important part of growth, I think; an important part of living with sobriety.

My sponsor told me the holidays will have their meaning returned to me the longer I stay sober. They will not have that grey-looking color of feel and taste and meaning. It has been told to me many things will get better the longer I stay sober

Holidays are just scary! I don’t think I have spent a sober one with my family in over ten years.

I am not worried about the holidays triggering me!

That is something I am certain of.

I fear something greater than that.


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