Holidays are notoriously hard for people in recovery. After all, we have to do this shit sober.
I had hoped to escape the emotional ghosts that haunt me every year.
Brea and I visited my parents on Thursday for lunch. I feel closer to them than I have in decades. My brother, my niece and nephew were there. This Thanksgiving was exactly what I needed. It was perfect.
There were no more secrets to hide. I was happy, sober, clear headed and full of love.
This was counter to most of my Thanksgivings. As a kid I felt like I didn’t belong. I was expected to participate in conversations I didn’t appreciate or sports I didn’t enjoy lest I be ridiculed.
As an adult I was drunk so I didn’t have to experience anything.
Yesterday we spent time with Brea’s family. Hours of telling stories, playing a game together and adoring Maggie and Molly while the food cooked.
I knew today would be busy so I headed back early for some leisure time. I settled in for a night of gaming.
Out of nowhere the ghosts appeared. In an instant, my thoughts and emotions betrayed me. The stories began.
“You shouldn’t be playing video games. You have more important things to do. An adult doesn’t do these things.”
“I am lazy. I should be writing and working on projects. Making an impact.”
“You’re not smart enough. You writing and ideas are stupid gibberish.”
“How could anyone love me the way that I am. I only I was different then I’d be deserving of love.”
I felt unworthy and wrong like I had for so many years. What could have been a fun activity compounded into hell in my own mind.
My brain wanted to shut off. Drown maybe is a more apt metaphor.
I needed to take action to change my thinking. I knew the signs.
I let Walker know what was going on in my head.
I jumped in my Jeep to go to one of my sanctuaries, a bookstore.
My brain needed to be appeased, and since drinking is not an option, I downed a box of Nerds.
The sugar rush fortunately sufficed. I am left knowing I didn’t completely win.
An hour later I am on the couch watching “Attack of the Clones” before I fell asleep.
I thought, “Tomorrow my brain will be different.”
Today I began again knowing more about myself.