The holidays are supposed to be a time of happiness, but for many of us it’s a time filled with much anxiety and struggle. I know I dreaded the holidays for years, and even after being in recovery for three years I know that there has been a certain level of angst when they come rolling around. There could be a million recovery messages that I could share with you, but I’d rather share with you a personal experience from this current holiday journey. Three weeks before Christmas Day I suffered an expected loss in my family. Not only did I lose my best friend, but I lost the most important source of strength in my life. She was always there to comfort me when times were rough and provided me with everything I needed in order to help me grow and recover. When I lost her I was devastated, but more importantly I was afraid that I couldn’t stay strong and keep going on this journey all alone. With the holidays quickly approaching I knew this was going to be a huge test for me. I was being faced with a choice: to run away and crumble, or to have confidence in myself and know that I could do this.
The days passed and without even knowing it I realized I had made my choice. I began believing in myself. I knew that when my Angel left me she had done so after teaching me so much and helped drag me out of the darkness. She left me when she knew I’d be OK. I used every coping skill I had learned, and went through every single day living the way she would have wanted me to. Christmas weekend arrived and I threw myself into every challenged and plowed through each of them. Christmas day came and I threw myself into a formerly challenging family situation and when it was all said and done I didn’t feel like a misfit anymore, I wasn’t thinking about what I was eating, and I wasn’t sinking into my shell. I was enjoying it. When I sit here and think about all of this I have more confidence than ever before that I can do this on my own. I know now that I am strong enough to overcome anything that life can throw at me. I know this would never have been possible if I did not start the recovery journey three years ago. I thought I was broken for so long, but this recovery process has put me back together into a totally new human being. I’m nothing special, though, because anybody can get to the point I am at. If you keep fighting and never lose hope you WILL recover. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, what country you are from, how old you are, or what language you speak, if you really fight for it you will get there. If I can do it then anybody can do it. Stay strong, turn your struggles into strength, and start experiencing life.
- Vic Avon