Holidays and Balance

Whew! It has been an insane past couple of weeks. I missed last week’s post and have almost missed this week’s post. After the Holidays I will draw up and release some more worksheets. However, until then I want to talk about the holidays, balancing life, and taking time to give back.

The holidays are known to be a rough time for addicts. There are many reasons for it. Maybe instead of spending it with our kids, we were getting high. Possibly this was the time of the year where we used the heaviest. Maybe this time of the year drums up feelings of shame for all the wrong we have done. Some are struggling right now because they cannot be with their loved ones. This could be due to prison, treatment, probation, distance, funding, or maybe it is because their family hasn’t forgiven them for the damage that they caused. One of these reasons, or a number of others, could be the reason that you or a loved one despises the holiday season.

It is important to move past this heartache. There are a lot of other ways that you can work through this. First of all, we can be hard-nosed about it and look at the holidays as just another day. Now I don’t mean that we push aside the feelings and memories in order to bury them. Instead, maybe use the holiday seasons away from your family to accomplish some other tasks. You might not be living like everyone else, but there are reasons for that. However, I always try to stay busy. One of my favorite things to do during the year is to give back to the community. I have taken so much from every community that I lived in. There was so much that I did to others, businesses, and just the community as a whole. I believe that now is the time for me to put effort into making the place I live better.

For the last four years, a band that I played with has put on a charity concert to help sponsor a family for Christmas. We aren’t an actual band anymore, but when we do get the opportunity to play we do. What we do is we get a handful of local bands together that want to help us raise the money needed to sponsor a family (roughly $300-$400), and we host a benefit concert. We put up a suggested donation, which means that if you do not want to pay you don’t have to. This is for legal reasons. I believe that it is illegal to “force” a donation. Anyways, after we raise the money we contact a local motorcycle group who issues us a needy family. At that point, we contact the family to let them know what we are doing and get a shopping list for the kids. We shop and wrap the gifts, purchase a dinner for the family, and then get together with Santa Clause to deliver the food, presents, and stockings to the kids on Christmas eve.

Truly one of my favorite days of the year.

We also held a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and less fortunate in our town. Unfortunately, we did this against the will of the city and so it wasn’t legal. Nevertheless, we decided to not carry that tradition on as the state requested somewhere around $1,000 to hold such an event. Maybe we will work something else out in the future. I do have some ideas.

One more note that I would like to make is that despite how much I am telling you to stay busy we need balance in our lives. Make sure that you are still taking time out for self-activities like journaling, working out, prayer, meditation, etc. Sometimes we can get bogged down and the stress can give us a case of the “fuck-its.” In the end, it is good to stay busy, but make sure that busy is productive, and not interfering with your self-care time.

Have a safe and fun holiday season, and if you are having a hard time, then please contact me through the site or social media, and I will do my best to help you through this time.

Rocky Ferrenburg

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