With Thanksgiving tomorrow, it is poignant to remember where we are now, and that, as addicts on Thanksgiving, we have more to be thankful for than most.
For many of us, the holiday was just another reason to drink or use. Either we wanted to revel in the festivities, or try to cope long enough to go back to whatever else it was we had planned. In either event, the outcome was generally the same.
Oddly enough, there was also a secretive aspect to the whole ordeal, despite the fact that there was little secret to what we were doing. Perhaps it was the co-dependence, or maybe just denial for the sake of preserving nostalgia, but everyone seemed to look the other way. Regardless of the quality of the food served, there was no valid reason for us—the proverbial black sheep of the family—to disappear to the bathroom every 20 minutes, only to emerge sniffling and really into that flag football game.
That is, if we emerged from the bathroom at all.
Of course, others of our ranks leaned towards more “socially acceptable” indulgences, but with equally socially unacceptable results. There is nothing quite like a single, vomit-arced moment to destroy a meal that took days to prepare, as some of us know.
Or maybe, it is the clandestine attempt to post bail from a relative after getting a DUI for trying to pregame so no one would know how much we actually drank. Or, wait—maybe it was passing out in the mashed potatoes. Yeah, that one has a pretty effective way of ruining the moment and making for an awkward silence.
Regardless of what our holiday shame was, it revolved around the same disease: alcoholism and addiction. We did not know it at the time, but we did something that no one else in our families or circles of friends could have done, and that was signify that something in the dynamic was not right.
Alcoholism and addiction are a family disease, and although it might not seem like it, we were, in those moments, the harbingers of change. We had to change—all of us—or surely there would have been a prematurely empty seat at the table in the years ahead. Sure, we did not deal with dysfunction well, but we knew there was a problem. Otherwise, there would be nothing to remedy, and that vacant hole that exists in every addict and alcoholic would not have driven us to do some of the things we did.
We all did things we are not proud of, but when we got clean and sober, we provided an example that things did not have to be that way—that even the worst of us could do our part to bring harmony back to what should be a joyous occasion. Ultimately, we brought something better to the party than the uncertainty of possible shame we had brought before.
Today, we bring stability, love, and another reason to be grateful.
Any Other Addicts On Thanksgiving Want To Chime In?
As addicts on Thanksgiving, what are some of your best and worst memories? Let us know in the comments!