The end of the year in a sober living home can be quite intimidating. Living in a home full of people you wouldn’t otherwise be around during the holiday season can be scary at first. I think what can really help with this unease is knowing that all the people you’re surrounded by are all experiencing similar feelings. Whether you’re staying and celebrating with your housemates or visiting with family and then headed back to your home to recharge it can be overwhelming to keep up with a time of the year that is associated with joy.
The truth is it’s not always joyous or happy during the holidays when you’re first coming into recovery. In fact, for me, this time of the year was when I was reminded how unhappy I really was. I had holiday movies and advertisements all around that in those times gave me an unrealistic expectation of what my family and friends should be during the holidays. Through working the 12-steps I was able to recognize the ideas I mentally had been trying to force on my surroundings. This control I thought I could have turned out to be something completely out of my control, but with a new way to look at the same situations, I could accept it for what it was and learn to find the things I was grateful for in those same situations I found so frustrating before.
Today as a sober living live-in manager for an all-female house I try to lead by example. That means working my own program to the best of my ability and trying to instill the principles I have learned over time in all the things I do. I have acceptance (most of the time, progress) and therefore I am much happier and even when I am not elated with joy I am still comfortable sitting in my feelings. I am grateful to feel my emotions today. I find joy in more simple things, like a holiday flavored coffee creamer and holiday movies streaming on-demand and I try to remember that I didn’t always have that. So I challenge you to find the things you are grateful for during the holidays this year, whether it’s finding a loved one the perfect gift or hearing your favorite song on a nice drive… whatever you find, may it bring you a more positive perspective.