Easter and Addiction In The Family.

Today families all across North America will be sitting down at the dinner table to celebrate Easter. Mom is up early making the dressing.The turkey is defrosting in the laundry room sink. Children wake up excited and raring to go. Others might have taken this time as an opportunity to catch up on their beauty sleep.
The Easter holidays are a time for families to reconnect and spend some quality time together.
Potatoes and are peeled. Brussels sprouts are boiled. The gravy is made. The cranberries go into our best crystal dishes. The aroma of turkey permeates our homes with its tantalising odours.
Our children are buzzing from their chocolate high.
Grandpa is snoozing in the recliner.
The dining table is dressed in its Sunday best.
The scene is set. It’s a lovely picture… If you don’t look too closely.
If you do, you might see that Mom is haggard. She can barely keep the smile pasted on her face.
Her eldest daughter is not only catching up on her beauty sleep, she’s on the nod.
There’s a tense silence in the family room where Dad sits drinking beer and watching TV.
Holidays when there’s addiction in the family, is a difficult time. We may have grown up in alcoholic families, only to have escaped as soon as possible. We might have gone on to develop addiction ourselves, or to marry, or hook up with, another alcoholic, or addict.
We have a sense of responsibility to one another. One that is not only weighty, it can be downright suffocating.
Roles are learned. Family dynamics are played out.
Keep the peace. Keep the peace. Keep the peace.
Until you can’t.
In our family there was always at least one blow up, any given weekend spent together. Someone felt hurt, or misunderstood. We lacked the ability to communicate with open sincerity, or level of trust.
It was easier to busy yourself with the dishes, or cleaning – than it was spending time in long lazy chats ‘catching up.’ Let’s face it. In alcoholic homes our conversations feel more like interrogations, than chit-chat. We are so busy looking for hidden meanings and agenda, that a simple talk can wear us out.
We all pretend to not see, what we’re seeing. Then we pair off into our familiar little groups, rehashing the scene later.
It’s predictable, in a weirdly discombobulating way.
Sometimes Holiday Celebrations are simply a time to be gotten through.
Other times, Holiday Celebrations are a time to be cherished.
I’ve experienced both.
All I know for sure is the more I work on me, the safer I am for everyone else to be around.
Our life’s lessons don’t always come wrapped in beautiful packages. Sometimes they come wrapped in everything we don’t want to be.
We are not our disease.
We are not our dysfunction.
We are our actions.
Easter signifies rebirth. Just for today set the past aside. Practise staying in the here and now.
In the here and now, practise kindness and love.
If you can’t do that, practise patience and breathe.
Whatever your circumstances this Easter, one thing’s for sure. It’s you who will choose what you season your meal with.
I know what works for me.
Pass the gratitude please!

(c) 2014 Jagged Little Edges All Rights Reserved