Is it a Festive Season for you?
Is it a Festive Season for You?
They call it the Festive Season, but for many people there is nothing to be festive about. This time of year used to give me a knot in the stomach and panic attacks. I dreaded the parties, the all-fall-down fun events, because I knew how each one would end. For some of us it could be violence, accidents, hospital admissions. At this time of year, suicides and divorces climb. It's so tempting to feel dread and wish the season was already over.
In Al-Anon, I gradually developed skills to cope with this time of year. I have learned how to deal with personality clashes, arguments, unrealistic expectations that suddenly, just because it's the Festive Season, that all the existing and underlying stresses will suddenly disappear. They don't. I am still me, the drinkers around me are still them. What is different is that I am armed with a growing set of skills that help me deal with 'stuff' as it comes up.
It's comforting to know that many Al-Anon groups stay open even on those days when everything else is shut. We have a help line you can call. Al-Anon friends will understand and listen if things get too much. They are only a phone call away. Many of us carry our daily readers around, and use them whenever things get tough.
Al-Anon has given me tools to cope with the Festive Season, and the knot in my stomach has disappeared.
May this Festive Season be a good one for you too, filled with calm, peace and fun. If not, I wish you a Plan B, lots of loving detachment, Al-Anon friends and your Higher Power right there with you. God Bless.