How your addiction is keeping you “away” on the holidays & how this effects each family member.
We started learning the concept of “home for the holidays” at an early age. I’m not exactly sure when this became my “norm” per say but for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen this play out within families from all around the world, both fictional and non.
There’s never been a question of whether or not to head home for my momma’s Thanksgiving dinners… it’s something I just DO because that’s what I know.
When I was caught up in active addiction, my shameful life kept me secluded from the one’s I love most… even during the holidays.
In August of 2015, the very first man I’d ever loved, my poppa, left this earth without ever getting to hear an apology from me for all the missed holidays and birthdays…for all the ignored texts and voicemails. My poppa had a very large family but he always called us all anyways and opened with song… I can hear him now…
“Happy birthday to you🎶Happy birthday to youuu🎶Happy birthday Manda-Maisy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
Needless to say, I realized I would never again hear that song… the song that I’d spent a lifetime memorizing. Perhaps this wrongdoing of mine would never be undone… from one side of the street that is.
The last time I’d spoken to him, he called a friend of mine’s phone, making an attempt to track me down and just tell me how much he loved me. I was taken back when he called and the shame that came flooding in, consumed me with not one shred of mercy on my soul.
Disappointing my poppa was the very last thing I’d ever wanted to do and knowing he knew about the self destructive life I’d led during his final weeks, was what gave me the most strength to walk away from that dope life forever.
I thought about how heartbroken he was because of me when he died and it was hella traumatic to say the least. Since I didn’t get to bring him peace of mind in knowing his Manda-Maisy was finally safe, it’s forever my responsibility to NEVER forget how much my addiction hurt his soul. I hope he can see me now… see me forever more, heading home to momma’s for the holidays.
Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re still in that shameful place of holiday seclusion, I would like to share with you, a few of the harsher lessons I learned…. requesting that you don’t make the same painful mistakes, I did.
Head home for MOMMA- this one’s a no brainer, while you’re out feeding your monsters, momma’s sitting at home spending every waking moment, not just worried, but TERRIFIED that she’ll have to endure the hardest of heart aches and outlive her baby. If for some reason, you can’t head home to her, take a few minutes to call her, so she can enjoy her holiday while being temporarily, worry free for the life of her love.
Head home for Dad- though mom is caught in a storm of pain, dad is also feeling the outer bands of this devastating hurricane. If your parents are still a co-op couple, he too is sitting home on Thanksgiving having to watch his wife sob into her holiday themed dish towel while she tries her hardest to not season the turkey with her tears. Not only does he have to watch her hurt, he also is blanketed with fear that he may have to bury his legacy and live a life of sadness… sadness and regret, for not being the protector he was destined to be.
Head home for your sibling- growing up with siblings is a gift from above. We become the very best of friends through covering each other’s asses so no one gets parental groundation. Siblings may fight when they’re coming up, but by the time late teenage years arrive, the bond built is sturdy and strong.
Try to remember they too are greatly affected by our holiday seclusion. Not only does your sibling have to arrange plans for holiday reunions while mom and pop are completely focused on your demons, but they will also be forced into watching their own parents suffering as well, while being unable to fix anything.
Head home to your babies- whether you have custody or not, your beautiful babies are growing up wondering why they aren’t a big enough reason for you to stop. They’ll watch your addiction and begin to unravel inside. They’ll mimic your addictive behaviors and more than likely will grow up having to endure the same torture you would die for them to never have to know. Sure they’ve seen all of your downfalls, but if you work hard, they’ll also get to watch you pull yourself out of the depths of hell and come out stronger than ever before. This is a great example to be set if you ask me.
Head home for aunty and unc. This one you may not think much of, but your parents’ siblings are feeling the ripples too. Thanksgiving day brings a joyous reason for everyone to hang around in the kitchen and reminisce about days gone by. Momma’s brother has been watching his baby sis suffer from afar for as long as your addiction has been ramped…turkey day brings him right to her doorstep to get a front row seat to this suffering. & Dad’s sister Elena is an empath from the stars who wishes she could save the world….aunt Elena’s thanksgiving is extra painful because not only is she helpless to helping her brother, she’s also helpless to helping you, whom she loves so.
Head home for grandma and grandpa. I told you earlier about the loss of my poppa but what I forgot to mention was that he was my poppa and he was my dad. My mom was his baby girl and the only person she had to vent her pain to was him. She called to hear his calming tone each time disasters touched ground. Maybe your mom has this same dependency towards your grandpa. Or maybe it’s grandma she calls during those times. With the grandkids, holiday meals typically begin to occur wherever the children are to make it easier. So, standing in your momma’s kitchen where you are not, Meemaw and Peepaw’s spirits are beaten down too as their wisest of wisdoms do no good to advise & they too find themselves completely helpless, to helping.
Head home for you. The very last person’s pain I’d like to describe belongs to you. You may be too numb to feel it most of the time, but your pain hurts you too, no matter how numb you make yourself. For months before thanksgiving, maybe you’ve been trying to convince yourself that you’ll actually make it home this year. You don’t want to let everyone down again, SO DON’T. There’s no addiction handbook that advises you to stay away on holidays. Even if you’re nodding out in the gravy, go home and avoid this widespread pain fire… even if it ends in the worst way imaginable, it’ll all be worth it… You and all of those you love, will get an early Christmas gift, just by having you home.
Willfully causing pain to the people we love most in the world, is the most painful of emotional pains. This pain inflicted brings darkness to each and every sunny day.
Thanksgiving may be just another holiday you’re obligated to clean yourself up for and attend but I hope you know, the interactions you have with each heartbroken family member, greatly impacts your own spirit as well. The pain you’ve inflicted will keep you sick forever if you let it.
Take action now and do what you can to make sure you don’t let this disease kill everyone you love… & make sure you keep the people you currently have in your corner because then you have them to reciprocate the love, by not letting this disease kill you either. Just go home now and thank me later.♥️
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