Friday, December 4, 2009

"Why addicts like Christmas."

Celebrating Chinese New YearImage by Dmitry Chestnykh via Flickr
It's simple, really. it's because people are nice to us. You know what I mean.

The family down the street, the ones who usually turn out their lights and pretend they aren't home when you come to the door. All oif a sudden they're saying, "Oh hi! Come on in and look at the tree! Have a drink! What are you doing New Years?"

Of course, in a week or so you'll hear them whispering, "It's him! Don't turn on the light!" But it's nice while it lasts.

But wait, there are other reasons why we like Christmas. People give us stuff! Now, if they have been going to Al-anon or Nar-anon, or remember what that counselor at the rehab said, they usually are not handing out the $20.00's. In fact, to be honest, some of the gifts may have a sort of last minute feel to them, like they weren't sure if you were out of de-tox yet, and didn't check the Gift List you posted at the G.W. Hill Commissary. But c'mon, who doesn't need a new pair of bunny slippers or a slightly used set of rosary beads?

Then there is always unrehabilitated Uncle Frank who just can't figure out what's wrong with  little brandy for Gawd's sake, and the pot you feel only slightly self conscious bumming from your 15 year old neice as you convince yourself that her and her girlfriends think you are a cool old guy. (Uncle Creepy, they call you behind your back.)

I remember when there used to be real office Christmas parties. I was a good young active alcoholic in those days and did some newspaper work, and those people could drink! By about 10 AM almost everyone would be sloshed at the paper, except for one older WASPY senior editor, thin-lipped and taking names in his little black book. Especially the name of the guy from rewrrite who felt compelled to tell him what he thought about working for him for twenty-five years.There was a face we wouldn't be seeing into the New Year.

Which probably had something to do with finally getting clean and sober. Because as much as an addict loves Christmas, recovery from addiction means learning that every morning isn't Christmas morning, and every night isn't New Years Eve. People who arent addicts know there's a reason they only come once a year.

We have to learn that the hard way.

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