"As the sore tooth draws our tongue, so do rejections, affronts, painful criticisms, both past and present draw our minds. We court self-pity, both loving and hating it. But we can change this pattern. First we must decide we are ready to do so. The program tells us we must become "entirely ready." And then we must ask to have this shortcoming removed. The desire to dwell on the injustices of our lives becomes habitual. It takes hours of our time. It influences our perceptions of all other experiences. We have to be willing to replace that time-consuming activity with one that's good and healthy. We must be prepared for all of life to change. Our overriding self-pity has so tarnished our perceptions that we may never have sensed all the good that life daily offers. How often we see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full! A new set of experiences awaits me today. And I can perceive them unfettered by the memories of the painful past. Self-pity need not cage me today." Each Day a New Beginning.
The holidays are a great time for dwelling on painful memories of the past. In my case, I created a lot of those painful memories by my own bad behavior. Some of those memories are of other people's bad behavior. Some time in early recovery, I decided that I would do my best to create happy memories for myself and to the extent possible, for other people. This year I spent Christmas with my oldest daughter and her family - all of them dedicated to creating happy memories and traditions. They go all out and they include both blood family and friend and romantic family. It's a lovely time, full of love. I am grateful for new happy memories.
My memories of Ron's and my Christmases are equally lovely. We spent quite a few of them alone because of all the blended family issues and distance from family. But we always set out to make each of them memorable.
Every holiday has it's downside for me - either stress-related issues or just missing missing people. I am thankful, though, for what I've learned in recovery - let that stuff go and remember the wonderful. What a great time I've had this year!