I remember well the Christmas when my son didn’t come home: During the holidays of 2006, when Jeff didn’t come home for our large Italian family gatherings, no one knew what to do or say. Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends didn’t know whether to ask about my addicted son or whether it would kinder to leave him out of the conversation. At Christmas Eve Mass, my older brother bent toward me and asked softly, “How’s Jeff?” I swelled with tears, tried to speak, but no words came. He nodded and turned toward the altar. I kept my head down and prayed.

My reflection: The holidays put the addict on center stage when the accumulated chaos of his or her life, and ours, is excruciatingly public. It is during these gatherings of joy that addiction mocks us most.

Today’s Promise to consider: Addiction can severely isolate us this time of year. We come face-to-face, over and over again, with the reality that our lives are not as joyful as Hallmark’s greeting cards tell us they should be. I will avoid this toxic place by being compassionate with myself, with others and my loved ones. I will find my serenity in honesty and prayer. I will not allow addiction to rob me of my peace.

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5 years ago

Once again Libby, thank you for bringing this private pain into the shared light of awareness, so appropriate at this time of Winter Solstice when we are approaching the longest, darkest night of the year, followed by the return of the light; and during the holidays when supposed joyful gatherings of families and friends and longstanding traditions can oftentimes serve to heighten the disconnect we are feeling about the reality of what addiction can bring to the holiday table. In our family, over the last decade we have faced visiting our son twice in jail at Christmas when he was incarcerated for drug-related charges, and in other years our family holidays were overshadowed by the challenging and oftentimes frightening state our son was in during the years his addiction was active. This year we give thanks that he has been in recovery over one year and we can look forward to sharing precious time together and celebrate the season, while holding others who are suffering with compassion in our hearts and prayers.

Nanci J Morris
Nanci J Morris
5 years ago

Beautiful picture and weekly meditation. Heartfelt thanks for this reminder…one of strength, hope and courage.
Love to you and your family,