On the Road to Recovery
Welcome to the January 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting:
Recovering from the Holidays
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about how their families get back to normal after the holidays are over.
No need for recovery.
Fishing for ideas for today’s post, I asked my husband, “what did recovering from the holidays look like for you?” He mulled it for a minute and then said, “I didn’t need to recover.”
“You didn’t need any recovery at all? How so?” “Well,” he said, “we didn’t drink anything.” “Right,” I countered, “but I don’t just mean alcohol recovery.”
“Think about it,” he continued, “in holidays past we’ve drank too much, eaten too much, stayed up late and not gotten enough sleep. This year was calm, not so indulgent. And I think that’s because we weren’t drinking.”
Huh. I hadn’t really thought about it, although I think my whole family did note the absence of a couple of good bottles of wine with Christmas dinner. And our traditional champagne – my favorite, the one from New Mexico – was amongst the missing on New Year’s.
Our house has been dry since June. Not that we’ve been hard partiers at any point in the last six years, but we’ve also not been teetotalers.
Oh hell, let’s be honest.
My name is Dionna, and I am an alcoholic.
Pre-kids, alcoholism looked like what you might imagine it does for many young people: entirely too many late nights at bars with friends. Or in my living room alone. It mattered little.
Post-kids, alcoholism was much more subtle. I couldn’t point to black outs or cringe-worthy bar conversations as signs of impending doom, but the fact that I needed that glass of wine (or sometimes more) more nights than not rang the warning bells.
As I had learned from twenty years of liver abuse, alcohol provided an illusory escape when marriage or parenthood was shitty. But alcohol never resolves anything.
Having Ailia brought me to a personal crisis point. For various reasons, having a girl sent me into a tailspin, and then I was forced to choose – face a life of ruin and heartache, or pick up the pieces and heal. Thankfully, I chose the latter.
I am done letting alcohol control me. I want to break the cycle of familial alcoholism. I want my body and my brain back.
I want to face the shitty parts of life head on, so I can serve as a model for my kids that I can be proud of.
And for me, that means no more drinking. We’ve tried the “cut back” method before, and Tom was always confused when it didn’t work for me. It wasn’t until I admitted it out loud to him – alcohol controls me – that he finally accepted it. And, thankfully, he’s quit drinking with me in a show of solidarity.
So how has it been? Not bad, actually. It’s been similar to my experience when I quit smoking. On the day I got the positive pregnancy test for Kieran, I made up my mind to quit for the health of my entire family. My resolve was firm when I put it in terms of my family. The challenge will be to remember five years from now that I cannot have “just one drink,” the same way I cannot have “just one cigarette.” Because one is just the beginning for me.
Recovery is a family affair.
Strolling through Costco to get Christmas dinner goodies, Kieran pointed at a display of wine and said “do you need any wine for Christmas dinner?” “No,” I replied.
“Why?” he asked. “I don’t drink wine,” I answered nonchalantly.
“But you used to drink wine,” he pressed. “Yes, I did used to drink wine or beer, but I’ve decided not to anymore.”
“Why not?” At this point, I knew he was processing and asking things that he had wondered about for awhile. “Because I don’t like the way wine and beer make me feel. They aren’t good for my body, and I choose not to have any.”
“Ok,” he answered, and we kept shopping.
Someday I’ll share with my children more of the details of our family’s battle with alcohol. Until then, I’ll try my damnedest to help our children learn the coping skills that eluded me.
So how did recovery look for us after this holiday season? Calm. Healthy. Sober.
We’re hoping that it’s part of a larger trend on my – our – long road to recovery.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- Pinterest Inspiration for Easier Winter Holidays Shannon, writing at Natural Parents Network, shares inspiration for having more relaxed winter holidays from their Handmade Holidays Pinterest board.
- Seven Recipes for Beans – Post Holiday Cleaning — Destany at They Are All of Me shares her favorite bean recipes that she hopes will help her body recover from overindulging her sweet tooth during the holidays.
- The Recovery in the Change — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen made changes in her life and attitude throughout 2012 and was pleasantly surprised at how those changes impacted her holiday recovery!
- Could this question change your life for ever? — To get your new year off on the right footing, Mrs Green of Little Green Blog is challenging us all to love ourselves with commitment and discipline. She asks you to focus on a simple question which might just bring you back in balance…
- Holiday Recovery — Meegs at A New Day talks about how the holidays can be overwhelming for a toddler, and how she’s helping her 3 year old recover.
- 5 Ways to Detox After the Holidays — Brittany at The Pistachio Project gives a few ways to help you detox and get back on track after the holiday season has passed.
- 3 Simple Ways to Establishing Rhythm After the Holidays or Any Time — Sheila at A Living Family shares 3 simple ways to reestablish a rhythm of connection and calm in your family after holidays, visitors, travel or any time.
- Gemstones For Holiday Hangoverss — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama delves into the power of gemstones as an often overlooked means of dealing with the holiday letdown.
- Getting back to Healthy — Bess at A Warrior Mom talks about the struggle of getting young ones back to eating healthy after several days to weeks of getting more candy and sweets than normal for the holidays and gives some suggestions on how to get them back to eating healthy in the new year.
- Post Christmas Juice Feast — Sam at Love Parenting explains why she has created a new tradition of juice feasting, and how she includes her toddler when detoxing.
- The Java Monkey On My Back — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs realizes it is time to kick her cup of Joe habit as a first step toward detoxing.
- Minimalist Holidays — Jorje of Momma Jorje doesn’t find much need for recovery after her minimalist version of the holidays.
- Do something for you — Lauren at Hobo Mama urges you to find a silly and indulgent reward of me-time — and she has hers.
- do we recover? — Kenna at Million Tiny Things wonders what recovery really means in the context of the tragedies of this past holiday season.
- 37 Easy Ways to Save Money — Shannon at GrowingSlower is sharing these money-saving tips to help get your budget back on track after the holidays.
- A Two Year Old’s Resolutions — That Mama Gretchen is putting the holidays behind her with a spin on traditional resolutions — New Year’s goals for her two-year-old! Sound crazy? Read on for an explanation!
- How to Find Balance after the Holidays — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her favorite ways to start a new year with hope and calmness.
- Fresh Awakening — For Luschka at Diary of a First Child, the new year has coincided with a return to restful nights. With sleep, she’s found new directions in life, but while she can’t make too many changes to her life right now, she’s inspired and excited about the future.
- Learning to slow down after a busy Festive Season — Stoneageparent describes the joys and lows of this year’s festive season, as well as her New Year’s resolutions.
- Detoxing’ Your Toddler After the Holidays — Does your family suffer side effects from the holidays? Join Christine from African Babies Don’t Cry to learn how she detoxed herself and her toddler off the treats and festivities of the season.
- Scheduling is OK! — Jaye Anne at Wide Awake, Half Asleep explores the possibilities of the — SCHEDULE!!
- We’re Saving their First Christmas for Next Time — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot takes it easy after moving with her husband and new babies to Scotland.
- A Vacation from the World — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children retreats with her family at the end of every year in order to recuperate and enjoy one another.
- On the Road to Recovery — Dionna at Code Name: Mama isn’t just recovering from the holidays, she’s recovering from a lifestyle.
- We Never Left the Grind — Erika Gebhardt compares a typical day pre-holidays and post-holidays.
- Remembering and Recovering from the Holidays (One day at a time) — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM is recovering from holidays slowly–taking one day at a time–while trying to remember all the sweet moments that passed too quickly.
- 5 a Day — To get back on track Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy needed a simple system to help her family learn new values.
- Holiday Detox & Healing: Bieler Broth — Megan at The Boho Mama shares her secret for a gentle, whole-foods-based post-holiday detox: Bieler Broth!
- I’m Mama Not Supermom — After a year filled with changes Angela at EarthMamas World has to remind herself that she does not have to be supermom while recovering from the holiday chaos.
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"On the Road to Recovery"
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