Christmas used to be my favorite time of year; I loved the preparation, the shopping and finally spending the whole day with my family and friends, eating, drinking and basically being merry and having a great time.

Now, as an alcoholic, its become the time of year I dread.

The constant celebrations, office parties and, of course, the table full of wine at Christmas dinner.

After another horrid and very disturbing relapse, the thought of coming back to rehab the week before Christmas filled me with dread; the missing out, not being with my family, the panic of spending Christmas with strangers.

“It just wont be the same”

“My family will miss me”

“Christmas is ruined”

In reality it would have been just like that if I had been at home at Christmas. It wouldn’t have been the same as I would have been drunk, my family would have been upset and I would have ruined Christmas.

Waking up on Christmas morning was a little strange, but as soon as I was greeted by all the other residents, all the dread faded away as I realized we were all in the same boat.

Suddenly, all the panic about getting through the day went away.

Not worrying about letting anyone down, or having to avoid the drink all day, watching others drink and especially everyone watching me , seeing if I was drunk, seeing if I am struggling and them with the constant dread that once again I will get drunk and ruin everything like usual.

Being in the safe, friendly accepting environment of Moving Forward took all the worry away. Christmas was different but in such a positive way- this year I didn’t spoil it!

The food was amazing, the games were so much fun and if I was struggling I always had help on hand.

I was just where I needed to be, among my new family, sober, happy and safe.

Christmas in rehab, where I should be.

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