43 days till Christmas…. for some people this is a very exciting time to start counting down the days to some very memorable moments. For some it is a dreaded slow but sure countdown that they believe will lead to some very catrostrophic or sad events.
Every year I speak to people who say I cannot go through another Christmas like I have the past few years. Lonely, angry, sad, nervous, scared…… all feelings that people most people don’t associate with family get togethers or celebrations.
For some people they dread an upcoming wedding, a birth of a child, a graduation party or family vacation. The event is irrelevant. It is the things that can happen at these events that concern them. Verbal or physical altercations, feeling embarrassed over your own actions or the actions of someone you love, or being disappointed in either missing the event or someone you wanted there, not showing up.
Tainted memories, sadness or incredible anger because the memory did not exist because of an addiction. The addiction pulled their rank and won.
The addiction decided that it was more important to the individual than the people or places that counted on them.
The addiction did not care who got hurt. The addiction did not care who it was disappointed.
The addiction took control of everyone and everything.
The families allowed the addiction to take control of everyone and everything. The families allowed the addiction to sabotage their event and spit on their memories.
Typically the families give the addiction way too much control. They do not understand how cunning or manipulative it is. They do not understand that not only has it taken their loved one hostage– it is trying to take them hostage too.
How do you take back that control? Do the opposite of what it is expecting you to do. Don’t invite the addiction, don’t make excuses for the addiction and don’t enable the addiction.
You can still love your loved one– but that doesn’t mean you have to love them and their addiction.
They have a right to abuse their bodies. You don’t have to support that. You have rights too.
If you are concerned about an upcoming event- talk about it.
If you are concerned about what might happen at an event- talk about it– Make a plan to ensure that no one is going to knowingly sabotage it. Let people know about your concerns. STOP keeping secrets. Learn how to protect you and your loved ones from the selfish needs of an addiction.
Lastly, the best gift you can give someone struggling with an addiction is a STOP SIGN. Show them that there are boundaries.
Teach them that they have to make a choice. Realize that it hurts them more to keep disappointing people — and you don’t want them to feel pain and shame anymore.
Give yourself an early gift and reach out for some support yourself. The way to help them is to help yourself first. So don’t way until the event– Call today and let’s create a plan to create wonderful memories.