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Alcoholism and Holiday Celebrations

Posted by @hopeful33250, May 31, 2017

Hello @georgette12 @brit @Gray @gman007 @melsy @amberpep @gailb

As Memorial Day is now behind us, I was thinking about those of you who have discussed alcoholism. Some of you have discussed it as an issue you have dealt with personally and some of you have discussed the effects of alcoholism in your family. Whatever the source of the alcoholic behavior, I think we can all agree that holidays seem to be tough times for anyone dealing with addictions. Perhaps in the past, alcohol was a part of picnics and other holiday celebrations. It could be that the threat of alcoholic behavior created a feeling of dread of the holidays. Whatever your response might be, let’s discuss how we can approach the holidays “alcohol-free.” Many of you have probably developed certain plans to keep the holidays sober and peaceful. So if you are comfortable doing so, let’s share those ideas with each other. Teresa

REPLY

This is a topic that is near and dear to my own heart, but for another reason.
As a liver transplant recipient, I avoid alcohol because of the risk involved of damage to my transplanted organ. Since my issue is not related to a tendency toward addiction, or family history, I am a little hesitant to jump in here.
Let me add that I admire anyone who is making an effort to deal with your situation on a daily basis. I have witnessed family member and friends who struggle with the same issues. And now, especially after my own transplant issue, I have become even more aware, painfully aware, of the way our society incorrectly presumes that every celebration or holiday gathering needs to include alcohol.
I send you my prayers for strength as you continue your journey to remain ‘alcohol free’. And I want you to know that my husband and I are the couple who celebrate our anniversaries and special occasions with an iced tea toast! And I will have the cooler of soft drinks at our town’s outdoor festival in a couple weeks, too.
Rosemary

@rosemarya

This is a topic that is near and dear to my own heart, but for another reason.
As a liver transplant recipient, I avoid alcohol because of the risk involved of damage to my transplanted organ. Since my issue is not related to a tendency toward addiction, or family history, I am a little hesitant to jump in here.
Let me add that I admire anyone who is making an effort to deal with your situation on a daily basis. I have witnessed family member and friends who struggle with the same issues. And now, especially after my own transplant issue, I have become even more aware, painfully aware, of the way our society incorrectly presumes that every celebration or holiday gathering needs to include alcohol.
I send you my prayers for strength as you continue your journey to remain ‘alcohol free’. And I want you to know that my husband and I are the couple who celebrate our anniversaries and special occasions with an iced tea toast! And I will have the cooler of soft drinks at our town’s outdoor festival in a couple weeks, too.
Rosemary

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@rosemarya I am glad that you jumped into this conversation. Thanks for sharing the ways in which you and your husband keep your holidays alcohol-free.

Since I was diagnosed with Acute and then chronic pancreatitis, alcohol has been a non-starter for me, but I was also determined that I was not going to be the “lecturer” on the bad decisions that can come with alcohol and later I had the same issue when I quit smoking. My abstinence is my decision and mine alone and does not represent the activity I expect from everyone else. I think some are a bit concerned about being a bad influence on me, but I try to nip that in the bud if I know they would prefer a cocktail or glass of wine. I am happy to tell people how I feel now that the alcohol is not a necessary part of my celebrations, meals, gatherings, etc…but again that is a decision made for myself and not one I am going to attempt to press on to anyone else.

@gman007

Since I was diagnosed with Acute and then chronic pancreatitis, alcohol has been a non-starter for me, but I was also determined that I was not going to be the “lecturer” on the bad decisions that can come with alcohol and later I had the same issue when I quit smoking. My abstinence is my decision and mine alone and does not represent the activity I expect from everyone else. I think some are a bit concerned about being a bad influence on me, but I try to nip that in the bud if I know they would prefer a cocktail or glass of wine. I am happy to tell people how I feel now that the alcohol is not a necessary part of my celebrations, meals, gatherings, etc…but again that is a decision made for myself and not one I am going to attempt to press on to anyone else.

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@gman007, Thank you for sharing with us. I want to say that I admire your strength and your commitment to your health.
Rosemary

@gman007

Since I was diagnosed with Acute and then chronic pancreatitis, alcohol has been a non-starter for me, but I was also determined that I was not going to be the “lecturer” on the bad decisions that can come with alcohol and later I had the same issue when I quit smoking. My abstinence is my decision and mine alone and does not represent the activity I expect from everyone else. I think some are a bit concerned about being a bad influence on me, but I try to nip that in the bud if I know they would prefer a cocktail or glass of wine. I am happy to tell people how I feel now that the alcohol is not a necessary part of my celebrations, meals, gatherings, etc…but again that is a decision made for myself and not one I am going to attempt to press on to anyone else.

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@gman007 Thanks for taking such a balanced approach to alcohol in your environment. Teresa

Christmas, New Years Eve, and all holidays always bring a large sting to me. Instead of enjoying family and just being together, everyone sat around and just drank beer after beer until they were totally plastered. As I little kid, and an only child, I thought this was how everyone lived; I later found out that was not so. A lot of families spent the day together, enjoying being with each other, sharing gifts, and just appreciating what the real meaning of Christmas was. My “fondest” (not) memory was when I was about 8 ….. my mother never got up to get me breakfast …. that was up to my Dad and I. But on Christmas morning she did. I don’t know what happened, but she got furious at him and from one side of the dining room over to the other, she threw a plate of waffles at him covered with syrup. One of the waffles stuck, and very slowly slid down to the floor, with the plate falling and breaking. I can still see a picture of …. where we were sitting, what we all were wearing, and most of all ….. that waffle slowly sliding down the wall. Another Christmas, when I was a bit younger, my father got me a train set, which I loved … all sorts of houses, little people, cars, road signs, bridges …. I’d spend hours there. Well, I guess he didn’t like that I moved the items around so he glued them down. I was very sad, but not surprised. Only kids raised in that kind of home, learn to let things run off their backs (so they think), and just go on and find something else do do.
abby

@amberpep

Christmas, New Years Eve, and all holidays always bring a large sting to me. Instead of enjoying family and just being together, everyone sat around and just drank beer after beer until they were totally plastered. As I little kid, and an only child, I thought this was how everyone lived; I later found out that was not so. A lot of families spent the day together, enjoying being with each other, sharing gifts, and just appreciating what the real meaning of Christmas was. My “fondest” (not) memory was when I was about 8 ….. my mother never got up to get me breakfast …. that was up to my Dad and I. But on Christmas morning she did. I don’t know what happened, but she got furious at him and from one side of the dining room over to the other, she threw a plate of waffles at him covered with syrup. One of the waffles stuck, and very slowly slid down to the floor, with the plate falling and breaking. I can still see a picture of …. where we were sitting, what we all were wearing, and most of all ….. that waffle slowly sliding down the wall. Another Christmas, when I was a bit younger, my father got me a train set, which I loved … all sorts of houses, little people, cars, road signs, bridges …. I’d spend hours there. Well, I guess he didn’t like that I moved the items around so he glued them down. I was very sad, but not surprised. Only kids raised in that kind of home, learn to let things run off their backs (so they think), and just go on and find something else do do.
abby

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@amberpep Thanks for sharing your memories of growing up with alcoholism, Abby. You really identified the dread that can occur with holidays that are marred with alcoholic behavior. I’m sure lots of folks in our mental health forum can attest to similar experiences and I appreciate your willingness to “lay it out on the table.” Teresa

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