AN UN-MERRY CHRISTMAS … 1988
Why in the world would anyone want to write about their worst Christmas? The answer is simple: I don’t want to dwell on it but I don’t ever want to forget it either. Here’s why…
I wasn’t one of those people who came alive during the Holiday Season. I liked the music and would grant you that there was a certain “expectant rush” in the air found at no other time of the year...but the whole frenzy of gifts and spending was abhorrent to me. It was a “Bah Humbug” sort of outlook but it was me and it had been me for a long time.
1988 was a particularly difficult year for us. My Mother passed away in September, my husband’s health was getting worse by the day and, in November, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The operation took place in mid December and (as you can see by the photo) I was still bed-ridden on Christmas day. I managed to get up long enough to have some pictures taken but basically it was a holiday spent in bed.
Anyone who has followed my blog will realize that Dec. of 1988 is just 6 months before my family finally decided to force me into dealing with my alcoholism. They were already contemplating an intervention although I had no idea that it was in the offing and I was in complete denial that there was a problem.
I was about 20 pounds heavier than I am now and I remember how frumpy and dispirited I felt that day. This is actually the best of the pictures that were taken then. In the others it is even more obvious that my family was “tolerating” me as opposed to enjoying having me with them. Our dog, “Jaws”, appeared to be my closest friend that day.
It’s only in retrospect that I can “see” that day for what it was. Alcohol is a devious foe. It robbed me of the ability to feel and my perceptions were completely skewed. I was barely holding on and my family was trying their best to understand why I was moving further and further away from them. There was no way that I could be part of that Christmas day because I was, in all actuality, “not there”.
This year of 2006 my outlook on the Holiday Season has changed dramatically. It will be my 17th sober Christmas and I rejoice in that knowledge. I have grandchildren (and even one great-grandchild) who have never seen me take a drink. Thanks to a family who loved me enough to risk an intervention my disease has been halted and I now live every wonderful day to the fullest.
This Christmas my children will all be with me. The days of their “just tolerating” my presence have long passed. I enjoy each and every time that we’re together and, even more important, they ENJOY BEING WITH ME ! It will truly be a Merry Christmas, filled with family and love.