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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Peaceful Christmas

     Life goes on weather the addict is using or not. Life goes on even if it is the first Christmas without our mothers or friends lost to cancer. Sooooo, my youngest and sober daughter decorated the house for the holidays and baked cookies while singing with her boyfriend. I could hear them laughing and singing downstairs while the smell of peanutbutter cookies permeated the upstairs and downstairs of our entire home.

     I put together a Christmas Brunch for both sides of the family. It did not really get started until about 11:30 this year as the oldest ones who always got here super early have passed on or moved to Florida as is the case with my Dad. We had quiche, tropical fruit salad, assorted bagels with cream cheeses and jelleys along with meatball sandwhiches, boiled shrimp, pepperoni and cheese. There were also fancy cookies, doughnuts that looked like jewelery they were so pretty, chocolate eclairs and homemade fudge.

   Our minature spanielle looked adorable with his tiny red Santa Clause Suit. Beth called to ask if she could attend. She said that she was taking suboxone again and trying to make a new start. She arrived with a big gift bag full of individually wrapped presents for her sister, father, aunts and me. She had taken a shower and her hair was clean and newly cut. She also had it dyed a natural color. The last time I had seen her it was a clownish orange. This time it was a deep auborn. Her clothes were cute but not trashy.

     Beth stayed for most of the day and then came back in the evening to my sister-in-laws house for dinner. I could tell that it was true that she had started suboxone again. In the beginning, she acts a certain more docile way that I now recognize. This was the first time in years and years that she has stayed with us for most of a day.

We did not discuss her recovery in terms of her new resolve, lack therof or in any way. We were too busy with the holiday. I was careful that there were no valuables left around and everyone there knew the score. Thank God for this family of mine that treated her very well. They were happy to see her in spite of it all. She thanked me several times for letting her come. I am sure she felt the love these people still have for her. My sisters, my husband's sister and our parents have never blamed us. They do not use or approve of drugs or the lifestyle that comes with them. They remember Beth when she was the shining star, the most sought after babysitter, the honor student and the star athlete.  They want her back and wish her the best. They treated her with dignity and respect yet kept their valuables in plane sight.

There was a prayer said in remebrance of my mother in law and my mother who both passed this year. It made Beth sad and she left shortly after that. She cried on the way home about her Nana. I hugged her and said that I knew she could stay strong. I told her that eventhough I know that my Mom and Nana have passed that I still talk to them. I know that they can hear me and often I know what they would tell me so that gives me comfort. I said that I was telling her this because it helps me cope and so maybe it will help her too. She said that she thought it would.

So, we forged ahead and made the best we could out of this first holday without our Moms. I am sure it is how they would have wanted it. We put aside our differences for the day and came together as a family who still loves deeply in spite of the ravages of death and addiction. We laughed, we cried, we ate and we sang. We shared our joys and sorrows. This was our Christmas. I am grateful to have had this day.


  1. How wonderful that she reached out to spend Christmas with her family.

  2. Anna, I am so thankful that you shared this with us. It sounds like it was a beautiful day. A day filled with the realness and the beauty of an imperfect life.....which is what we all have. Your post is a tribute to enjoying the good and thriving despite the difficult and sad. Bless you....

  3. All things are possible! We have been in the game long enough to know this kind of day should be received as a gift.

    I try to convey on my blog exactly what you write, tempered with realism. One day of peace and suboxone doesn't get you or I dancing on the table, but each effort by the addict should be encouraged. Beth is blessed to have the acceptance of the family. Andrew has that too, and that is very helpful. After a time, they want to stop hurting these people.

    Anna, this past year, Andrew started talking about "shame". He feels remorse/shame for his actions. This is new. He talked about it before, but didn't mean it. His actions never followed his words. I want to share with you these little changes, perhaps you can relate them to Beth. Our addicts are not going to work the 12 steps and have an immediate spiritual awakening. They will relapse, with each getting shorter over time. The past year there has had more honesty and accountability, less blaming. But still lots of addict behavior. Overall, each longer period of clean time, is a building block.I hope my experience helps you, and gives you hope.


  4. It sounds like a wonderful day and a wonderful gift to have Beth there and doing what she can to stay clean and sober. That is awesome. I hope that talking to the spirits will bring her some peace.