For twenty-four years, I never thought there would be a holiday where I was sober. I was so used to spending holidays feeling myself and getting high. I remember holidays when I would act a fool so I could do what I was used to doing. I can say this changed four years ago.
Four years ago, on October 24, 2018, I got sober from my drug of choice, methamphetamine. That Halloween, I spent in bed trying to overcome the withdrawal. I can remember my kids going out and doing Halloween with their friends. How sad was that? I could not even get up to enjoy just this little holiday.
Let’s say this changed for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is about being thankful. I was grateful I could get up, move around, and spend time with all my children. While some anxiety slipped in, I stayed and wanted to be a part of the family I once lost. This was the year that I finally got a picture with all three of my boys, and I was sober. The last picture I had with them was taken five years before. This was right before I relapsed and went downhill. I can say I carry that photo with me everywhere. I am proud of this picture and what it represents.
Today, if this is your first holiday sober with your family, take your time. Enjoy the time and create new memories that will last a lifetime. Do not look back and focus on that review mirror; focus on what is in front of you. A family that loves you and wants the best for you. One day you might share the life story of your addiction; till then, take a breath and breathe.
Written by: Melissa Pena