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I can remember for years treating holidays as if they were legal get high days. Holidays were special. If it was Thanksgiving or Christmas I would be with my family and we would all chip in and get whatever we could. If it was any other holiday they same applied but with friends and anyone else who wanted to chip in. I remember going to parks, beaches or where ever we wanted to go and be drinking, smoking and caring on. Having what I mistook for a good time. Back then my using was recreational but as the years went by it started to become more of a habit. In the end it was a nightmare, I was all alone and It was a need. I had to feed my monster.

I remember thinking that I could stop any time I wanted to. I just don’t want to stop. That was the lie I told others to cover up the fact that I didn’t know how to stop. I tried to stop on my own and I failed every time. The only time I would be able to get any break from using was when I got arrested or went into rehab. For identification purposes.. I even used when I was in prison and rehab too.

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I couldn’t stay clean in the end and I was scared to let anyone know that. I was afraid to ask for help and as a result I continued to suffer.

Now that I am clean (20 Mos 6 days) I still have some moments when I have thoughts of using and urges to act on them. Holiday’s are some of those times. Holiday’s are especially hard because my thought process associates a holiday with having fun.(Although using was not fun, it is still associated in that manner in my thoughts.) In my mind I get thoughts of missing out on something. I begin to feel like wanting to be a part of again. I have to remember that I was not having fun and that I am not missing anything. If I play the whole thought out I will remember that in the end using caused me to lose every thing and almost cost me my life. I need to remember that all it takes is one. That first one will send me into a never ending spiraling frenzy that will only end badly. Today I am grateful that I am not afraid to let someone know when I feel like using. I share with others when those thoughts come to mind.

Jails, institutions and death are only a crack rock, drink or drug away.

My way of dealing with the holiday triggers are to

1. Stay connected to my network. / Talk about what I am feeling. VERY IMPORTANT

2. Call friends and make meetings.

3. Read recovery literature and do step work.

4. Keep my self busy. Idle time is not productive or conducive to my recovery.

5. Treat myself to a movie or go to an amusement park.

There are several ways that I keep myself from thinking and acting off my thoughts and I have learned all of them from being in recovery. I still have a lot of learning to do and I look forward to it. Recovery is what I make it and today I choose to make the best of it. I take the suggestions from others today. I admit that I do not know everything and I practice remaining open minded and honest.

So far it has been working.

4 thoughts on “THE HOLIDAY HAZARD

  1. Very good advice Eric! I want to thank you for visiting and following my recovery blog. I’m really enjoying reading your past posts. Recovery and Addiction can be hard subject matter to blog about. But it seems you write like I do, from the heart. My many friends know I never Sugar coat recovery. Being in recovery now 8yrs and 5 Months has taught me to be REAL about my past gambling addiction and alcohol abuse. I see that you have an open mind and heart to recovery!

    Keep up the great work your doing here. We never know who maybe reading and hopefully share HOPE & Encouragement to someone in crisis. XOXO Very happy to meet you!
    Happy 4th Weekend 🙂

    Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Recovery Advocate

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Catherine for following my blog and for your kind words, support and encouragement. I truly hope that my blog reaches the masses and helps someone who might be thinking that they cannot get clean or cannot recover from their addiction. I do like to post from the heart and not sugar coat my addiction or my recovery. Congratulations on your 8yrs and 5 months. I have read some of your blog and you are an inspiration to many. I qm learning so much about recovery in my short time being here. But the main thing I am learning is that I cannot keep it, unless I give it away. I appreciate you stopping by and meeting you. WE can make a difference. Have a fantastic, happy, healthy and safe holiday weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. CONGRATULATIONS Eric on 20 months and 6 days of being clean. That is fantastic. Every day is a new record for you, a strengthening of your inner man, and good example to others.

    That is a terrific strength you also have in knowing to call out to others when necessary. That is strength for sure. Having plans in place as you do, is another sign of strength, desire to recover, and perseverance.

    God’s Blessings as you continue on.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you George. I appreciate that. I am learning so much along the way in this new chapter of my life. I am grateful that I do not fall into the same traps. Knowing is half the battle. Doing the next right thing takes care of the rest. Have a happy, healthy and safe holiday weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

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