Friday, December 22, 2006

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.

12 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

How wonderful for you to have 17 wonderful and sober years. May you have a Merry Christms indeed.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Claude said...

Congratulations, on this 17th anniversary, Ginnie. Thanks for sharing this great story

2:09 PM  
Blogger truth said...

Wow, congrats on your 17 years.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

This was truly written from your soul, Ginnie. And I so agree that one must remember from where we came...in order not to return there.
Congrats to you on your 17 years! You're a very special person.
Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas....enjoy your moments with your kids and all that the day has in store for you! Because you deserve it!

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also wish you a Merry Christmas and hope there will be nothing but good times in store for you in the new year. And congratulations on your 17th anniversary.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ginnie,
As always you move me so with your story. I am so happy that you are with us today and enjoying life to it's fullest.

I hope you and your family have the happiest of holidays yet!!

Hugs,
Connie
So glad you found my new address to my blog.

5:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 17 years of sobriety and beating cancer. Wow, you had a lot of hard work to do.

Yet another similarity. This is fun!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrads on 17 years! That's so awesome! (And yes, I know I use the word "awesome" too much, like, ya know? :)


Peace,

~Chani

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Suzie Q said...

Thank You, Ginnie, for sharing this with us. I am so glad that you turned it all around and beat that cancer, too. It's been such a pleasure to 'meet' you and I look forward to learning more in 2007.
I wish you and your family a truly magical Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Enjoy! :D
Sue x

2:11 AM  
Blogger Chancy said...

God bless you, Ginnie

Have a wonderful Christmas.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

I was wondering about the nightgown.

One of the things I'm grieving now that my dad is gone is the part of him that often wasn't there for us even when he was there....because of alcoholism.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Dear Ginnie,

Once again you've share a poignant story with truth and feelings that I can relate too. So glad that we BOTH can enjoy AND remember Christmas this year. And... so glad to have you as my friend.

Love.... Denise

5:04 PM  

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