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The Time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s

The Time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s

Thanksgiving to New Year’s is a time of joy for many people. Or so I’ve always thought.

It’s a moment away from work. Time to relax with family. Share presents. Savor delicious meals. A retreat from the pressures of the year, and a healthy pause before it begins all over again.

In the years when I lived with our son in active addiction, the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s were among the worst.

“Joy” enflamed my misery.

Hearing about sons and daughters home from college, seeing their parents pile grocery carts high with favorite foods, I felt the sting of loss even greater.

The December when Jacob moved to Florida for continued treatment was especially hard. Addiction’s impact on our family, the shame and sorrow, still overwhelmed me.

I moved through the crowds on Main Street, head down, the giddiness and glitter stinging my face worse than the bitter cold.

It was during that time between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I attended my first Al-Anon meeting.
Like many “firsts,” you never forget your first Al-Anon meeting.

Here were strangers who welcomed me. They seemed sad, but neither lonely nor isolated. They had each other, and their stories were so similar to mine.

Al-Anon’s welcome says “This is the safe place, the right place to be.” So many others from so many backgrounds cut through my shame and isolation. In that small room the burden of my son’s addiction slowly lifted – and with it the sadness of the time.

Today – a month shy of celebrating Jacob’s ten years in recovery – I can still feel the pain of that holiday-tween time.

But seeking the solace of others who understand spares more sorrow.
And still does today.

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