I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

imageCoping tools come in handy sometimes.  Over the past two years I’ve been therapized to death with relapse prevention techniques, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, group therapy, personal therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Neurofeedback and of course, contingency management.  Otherwise known as ‘Plan B’.

My sister always asks, “What’s plan B? That’s whatever happens when plan A fails.”

So really, how do we cope?  This question applies to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas.  But not the Christmas with going nuts eating, drinking, shopping, travel, my uncle Charlie, other people’s uncle Charlie, and all the madness that goes along with the holidays including New Years Resolutions and football.

What I do love is the SPIRIT of Christmas.  You know, peace on earth good will toward men.  I remember going to Christmas Eve services in my wife’s small town and taking her Grandma to sing Christmas carols and listen to the bells ringing.  I remember my house as a child, it looked like the North Pole with all the decorations, lights and candles and fires in the fireplace. Thats Christmas!

What the fuck happened to us?  Christmas is now buy, buy, buy, run, run, run, and party ’til you drop.  I like the IDEA of Saint Nick and the elves, but it’s been taken way too far and way out of context.

So what’s a sober, but crazy, addict supposed to do?  Use a little of that ‘awareness’ my Guru/Sensei teachers tell me about.  Step number one: (plan A) Don’t Drink.  Plan B:  here’s a bulleted list:

  • Eat/Party with sober peeps
    • I do get by with the help of my (sober) friends
    • You’re much safer than with a bunch of addicts
    • Have a ‘Sober Christmas Dinner’ – invite your (sober) friends
  • Go To Meetings
    • S.M.A.R.T (Self Management and Recovery Training) Meetings
    • A.A. (Well, everyone knows this acronym…)
  • Indulge your body: Sports
    • Skiing
    • Walking or hiking
    • Running
    • Cycling
    • Snowmobiling (this is best done sober…)
  • Entertainment: a distraction
    • Books
    • Movies
    • Music
  • Pick up the 400 lb smartphone: Call someone
    • Your Sponsor
    • Sober People
    • A SUPPORTIVE Family member
  • Meditation or Yoga
    • Activates the  Parasympathetic nervous system (look it up)
    • Breathe in and out
    • Be a human being, not a human DOING!
  • Therapy
    • Make anappointment
    • Just fucking call!
  • Puzzles/Games
    • Yes, another distraction
    • Don’t play poker!
    • Just enjoy
    • Remember Scrabble?  It’s good for your mind!
    • Find a game your friends like, everyone has a favorite
    • Well, OK Play Poker and smoke cigars, just don’t use.

C’mon, just do it!  You CAN get by with a little help from your friends, I do it a lot.  But it’s not easy when that cell phone weighs 400 pounds.

Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas.  Be kind to yourself…