Kina, Families & Addiction Trust

Nathan's Blog-christmas time

Posted on 16 December 2014 | 0 Comments

Christmas is upon us once again. As we enter the so called ‘festive season,’ workplaces

wind down, barbeques are fired up, and parties are thrown. And in these convivial

settings, families are expected to come together to celebrate, and alcohol consumption

increases markedly. We all know that as a nation we drink heavily at this time of the

year and this is reflected in supermarket chain wine and beer sales, and an increased

presence of responsible drinking propaganda in the media. Turn the television on

tonight and you’re sure to be informed on a raft of responsible behaviours around the

imbibing of alcohol. You can be a legend and stop your loved one’s drink-driving right?

(Because once they’re dead, you can’t eat their ghost chips bro!) According to the telly

you can also reason with your loved ones to be responsible in their drinking habits, (no

more Beersies for you), or drink ‘Not Beersies’ (water brewed by clouds). But those of us

with family members who struggle with addictions to alcohol and other drugs know that

terms such as moderation and responsibility aren’t really in their vocabularies, (except

perhaps in the form of best intentions gone awry courtesy of their addictive behaviours).

And so these social settings, lubricated as they are with alcohol and other drugs, can

become times of intense pressure and anxiety for family members worried about their

loved one drinking and drugging too much. If you’re reading this chances are you’re

already well aware of just how quickly a loved one’s excessive alcohol and drug

consumption can hijack what began as a celebratory family gathering and render it into

an episode of bad behaviour, fighting, foolishness, and falls. And even if the above

scenario sounds all too depressingly familiar to you, there is often still the need to

carefully manage expectations towards family at this time of year. Through a sustained

campaign of what I term ‘commercial-mas-marketing,’ families are told over and over

again that this is the season to be jolly. If your family isn’t having a good time then

something must be wrong a subliminal barrage of seasonal brainwashing informs us.

Here’s the thing though, if your loved one has an alcohol or drug addiction, then

something is wrong, and it’s not your responsibility to make it right. This Christmas, look

after your own welfare. You’re not obliged to expose yourself to the embarrassment and

shame of seeing your loved one get blotto and behave badly. You can chose to avoid

distressing family gatherings and do something else, something fun, something for you

and other members of your family to enjoy!

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