Then I went on a prodigious bender, and that chance vanished. ~ Bill W., pg. 5.
We have the best intentions, and we are given so many chances to thrive and participate in society. The alcoholic in us always gets in the way, and we trip over own feet. We have a knack for failing in the face of success. We get in our own way and self-defeat at every turn. Big interviews, great new jobs, a new baby in the family, or a great stock tip may be presented. Our reaction is to go get stinking drunk and blow the opportunity for happiness and inclusion right out of the water. Our best intentions do not match our actions. No wonder the people closest to us and from our past do not trust a thing we say. No wonder they harbor resentment. We have robbed them of their happiness as well. At this time each Yuletide season, my dad would go on a raging bender for 3-4 weeks prior to Christmas. Someone got beat up each day. I never understood this until well into my 30’s, my mom explained that dad’s mother (age 40) had passed away before Christmas when he was younger.
In his depression and mourning, he made our Christmas seasons miserable as well. I am sure he did not realize this. But for us, we thought it was something we had done or not done to make him angry. Alcohol makes chances and happy times vanish. Poof! It is all gone or lost just as easily as it came to be. In AA, we learn to no longer let others decide whether or not we will be happy or pleased. We learn that happiness comes from within. We no longer have to let alcohol determine how we celebrate or when we do. We can face the holidays with a sober and healthy outlook. We no longer are victims of this disease. We can also let others celebrate without fear of how we will act and react. Join the celebrations. Enjoy the holidays. Breathe freely. Your family is waiting.