(... one kid at a time!)
Well, the holiday season is upon us and you know what that means? No more off-days! Nothing but partying and fun until after New Year's! Yayyyy!!
Part of the reason this plan works so well is because it does let you enjoy special occasions without making you feel deprived. It's a special time of year, after all. So celebrate! Your regular cleansing and off-days should protect you from seriously nasty drunks - or ruining Christmas - like my mother used to do.
She was a single mom in a time before the term was even coined. I've mentioned many times that - through no fault of her own - she was trapped in the cycle of dopamine/depression and consequently addicted to alcohol.
It was also the early 70s and she was freshly divorced, so it was a wild and wooly time to be newly single. She indulged freely - and my little brother and I paid the price. I think we still pay the price every day with our over-sensitivity and our trouble with self-esteem and relationships. And some of my worst drunk memories of her happened at Christmas, especially because that's when children like things to be fun and nice. But for us, a little Christmas cheer always devolved into drunken, angry binges. Mom ruined many Christmases with her drinking and it breaks my heart to know that other parents trapped in the addiction cycle might be doing the same thing to their kids, without wanting to - because I don't know a single drunk who doesn't regret their actions - but without being able to control them either.
I told my husband when I started this blog that one of the main reasons I wanted to do it was so that I could "save Christmas" for a single kid out there. Because parents who are addicted to alcohol find this time of year especially difficult. There is so much socializing, so much drinking, so much pressure to "have fun." And it's all under the guise of celebrating the Holy Day. If you're trapped in the addiction cycle, it's easy to overdo it and ... wake up Christmas morning absolutely devastated that you had your kids crying when you drunkenly decided to "come clean" with them and tell them there was no Santa.
But if that parent trapped in the addiction cycle could start cleansing - doing the long cleanse, then the two months off a year and two days off a week - and learn that they CAN control their drinking, they can enjoy alcohol and not ruin the rest of their lives ... well, that might mean that unhappy, drunken Christmases are a thing of the past for that family. As I said, if I could save Christmas for just one kid out there ... I know I will have done a good thing!
So I'll be sharing some rather nasty and/or darkly funny Drunk Family Christmas Stories over the next week or two. They won't be heartwarming. But they will remind me why I started cleansing ... because I wanted to save Christmas for myself, too.
Without having to drink #@*% club soda all season long! Yayyyy! (Hic.)