December 16, 2010

The Holiday Blues...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year....

Those seemingly happy good wishes can sound like needles scratching an old record spinning around...going nowhere. Why is it that this time of year is so difficult for so many people?

One reason is we usually connect with our families, maybe for the first time in many years. When family members get together, many times, we fall into our "old out-moded" patterns and chidlhood scripts which we learned ever so rightously as a child. We play our roles of "the oldest and smartest one" to "the baby who gets away with everything." We re-robe ourselves in past behavior as we gather around the holiday table and tree. The co-dependent mother and the doubting father roles are resumed accordingly bringing past traditions to the present.

If one person of the family has changed, grown, or moved-on emotionally, some family members are put "off-guard" and don't know how to respond or act around the newly transformed individual. This happens often when the family member has entered recovery and sobriety. The rest of the family may not know how to treat the newly sober which brings tension and a sense of unease to the whole family. "Do we talk to him/her about it?" "Did he/she really stop using?" "Will he/she stay sober?"

The best reaction I can suggest is showing that member of the family that has taken such a big step toward saving their life is:  Hugging, smiling, back-patting, listening, and even laughing with compassion in your heart.

As The Dalai Lama says:  "We should rejoice in our fortune of having the precious chance, as humans, to practice altruism." Use your chance this holiday season to reach out to your family, whether addicted or in recovery, you may not have a second chance to do so....

Love & Light to you all this Holiday Season!