I’ve been wanting to write this blog for the last few weeks about the Christmas season. I want to talk to you about addiction in the family, and how we can put boundaries in place. I will be sharing with you what is on my heart. So if you are looking for new family traditions or a good Christmas sugar cookie recipe this blog may not be for you. I want to encourage whoever is reading this and let them know they can overcome the pain of the holidays. I am hopeful that what I share will help many, because I know I am not alone when it comes to the pain this season may bring.
You see during the Christmas or holiday season it brings up A LOT of pain for so many people. This is why the suicide rate goes up and many people find themselves running back to their addiction.
During this time of year we are left with so much pain. We are left to sort through the confusion of our past. So many thoughts at this time of year may be running through our heads. We are not sure if we should go around that family member who continues to hurt us. We are confused whether or not we should go to the Christmas party because the person who sexually abused us as a child might be there. Maybe this is the time of year when your spouse walked out on you. Or maybe you are someone who grew up in abuse and addiction and you are left with nothing but brokenness from your childhood. The list can go on and on and on of why you may be feeling pain. Please take whatever your current situation maybe and apply it to what I am about to share.
I felt a strong urge to write on these topics of boundaries, self-care and how to handle our pain during the holiday season. While so many people this time of the year are enjoying Christmas parties, time with family, holiday shopping or decorating a Christmas tree, this may not be the case for your family. The Christmas season can actually be hard for so many people, bringing up a lot of painful memories.
I know this was and still is my situation… As I write this blog I am reminded of how painful my childhood was, and I am also reminded of how ‘ADDICTION’ has taken so much from my life. I feel my parent’s passed away way too young and left a lot of dysfunction behind them. Daily I find myself trying to sort through my life experience so I can continue to live a life of victory. I would like to share with you some things I have learned through my experience.
I used to think that I had to go to every family party, but after many years of doing this I noticed a pattern. I was trying to get FREE from my self-destructive behaviors but every time I left a family function I had the urge to go back to my eating disorder and self-destructive habits. I continued to pray and ask God to show me why. Finally, when I was ready to listen He showed me, you can’t get free from something that you have witnessed since you were a child. Addiction and pain was all I knew, but yet I wanted be free from all of it. Every time I went to a ‘family party’ I was exposed to the conversations of who was still using, or who has died or who was in jail. This kind of talk triggered all my childhood wounds that made me want to run back to my eating disorder and self-harm.
Does this make sense?
Unfortunately, in order for me to heal and get free, I had to put boundaries in place. BUT guess what happened next? I was accused of not being normal like the rest of the family, not being loving, and then last but not least, they even said, I wasn’t a true Christian. Does any of this sound familiar? Now let me share with you, this type of trauma is not easy to overcome. You have to have a lot of support from Godly people with a lot wisdom and understanding that can speak into your life when you are going through this type of healing.
But if we don’t deal with this ‘YUCKY’ stuff around the Christmas/Holiday season you will find yourself in a vicious cycle of not feeling your feelings, running back to old destructive patterns like addiction, and self-hate. We have to learn to put up healthy boundaries and learn self-care. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves nobody will.
Now ask yourself the question, will I pay a price if I go to this party or event? Do I feel strong enough? When you go around these people are they lifting you up or like my husband likes to say, ” are they dumping poison into your life?”
Remember the only way to get over your pain is to FEEL it. I like to say your pain won’t kill you, but your addiction will. So be sure to put up boundaries and FYI: this includes FAMILY, mother, brother, sister, uncles, and ALL!
Be gentle with yourself and take care of you! Surround yourself with people who love you and will speak truth into the area you are trying to overcome. Do what feels right for YOU.
I’ve decided to surround myself with people who will help me become who I want to be, not what I grew up in.
I want to encourage you today to do whatever it takes to heal and get free. And I promise you, you will start to enjoy the Christmas and Holiday season!