Call us Today 561-563-8882

Sober and Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays 2

Sober and Home for the Holidays

Ten years. Count ’em. Ten long years. Five thousand, two-hundred weeks. Or thirty-six thousand, five hundred days. Plus another three days for leap years. In other words, a full decade. That’s how long it had been since AJ got to go home for the holidays. Any holidays.

It was hardly a fun-filled decade.

In fact, the entire 10 years consisted of the kinds of times which make nightmares seem desirable. Dire, debilitating times. Times that ricocheted between the precipice and the hospital ward. Or the jail house. Mustn’t forget that. Heck sometimes the hospital ward led straight to the jail house. Then, a week or a month or 180 days later, you get to start all over again. Back on that precipice. Hunkered down on the edge of a cliff with only one exit.


That was then though. This was now. And now meant fresh air and second chances. It meant peace and relative quiet; warmth and indescribable joy. It also meant returning to the days when a home-cooked meal among family and friends was a day you would always appreciate — and could never, ever forget.

“My Mom couldn’t stop hugging me!” wrote AJ. “And my brothers and cousins and aunts and uncles all acted as if I’d always been a cherished member of the family. But it was my dad who really floored me. He took me outside on the porch and asked me to forgive him! Me! Can you believe it?”

“If this is Thanksgiving,” he continued, “just imagine what it will be like on Christmas!”

That’s some of what AJ told us while he was home for the holidays. And his joy made our holidays all the more joyful.

That Was Then

AJ first reached out to Healing Properties from a nearby treatment center. He was on Day 89 of a 90 Day stint and itching to get back to the world-at-large. We usually see such eagerness as a harbinger of relapse and other bad things to come. But when we spoke to the center’s staff, counselors and therapists and techs all unanimously agreed he was ready. And after speaking at length with AJ, we agreed as well.

What probably swayed us the most was the degree of honesty AJ displayed during his interview. He never once failed to accept full responsibility for his actions. Nor did he ever try to mitigate his infractions. As you might imagine, that list of infractions was long and quite often egregious. And though none of it was new to us, the manner in which it was shared was rare. AJ managed to be both forthright and clear-headed about everything. More, he managed to be apologetic without feeling sorry for himself. And he most definitely didn’t attempt to make us feel sorry for him. Good thing too. Because those are two things we don’t do: pity or self-pity. Ever.

Nor do we play the blame game. Addicts can be held accountable without being blamed for their disease. After all, they didn’t ask to come down with something that’s basically incurably chronic. And so long as those past actions weren’t violently cruel, there’s a good chance the wrongs can be righted.

Oh, we’re not kidding ourselves. Active addiction causes all kinds of hurt. It also sparks all kinds of ugliness. But aside from, say, the most major crimes, there’s generally nothing too insurmountable.

And so it was with AJ. Yes, the last time he went home for the holidays, he stole from his Mom, borrowed from both a brother and a cousin, drank a full bottle of vodka and then overdosed on heroin. And yes, as you can imagine, he’s been persona non grata ever since. Now though his family was willing to risk another chance. And AJ handled it like a champ!

Home for the Holidays

Of course a 90 day rehab stint didn’t hurt. Neither did nearly seven straight months of sober home living. And not just any sober home either. Healing Properties Sober Home. See Healing Properties is an engaged sober home. We expect men to get involved with the community and work a solid program from day one. That means consistent meetings, steady 12 Stepping and sponsoring others as soon as your sponsor says you’re ready. It also means getting gainful employment — in your field, if possible; or somewhere else until it is possible. Furthermore, you’re expected to do that job to the very best of your ability, as well as to hold on to that job until time comes for a clean break.

In other words, we expect you to become the man you were meant to be all along. Sober, steady, strong of character and honest. And we expect you to become happy about it all too. In fact, you’ll quickly find there’s nothing like upright living to ignite a run of immense happiness. And once you’re back playing the game with integrity, the smiles will seem to be plastered on your face.

Those smiles will also seem to be contagious. That’s right, the sober home community will treasure your company. So will your work colleagues. Your friends and your family will once again be happy to see you too. Very, very happy. Then when the subject of going home for the holidays comes up, there won’t be any hemming or hawing or tell-tale embarrassment, on either side of the equation. There simply will be one blessed question: What time does your flight arrive?

Congratulations, AJ!

What about you? Were you able to go home for the holidays? Would you like to have been? Are you sober enough to handle such a stay? More importantly, are you sober enough for your family to have you? We’ve all been on the wrong side of the invitation list; some of us more than others. But we all are able to get back on the right side too. Sure it takes work. It also takes patience. But it’s possible. All you’ve gotta do is make the call.

Get Help Today

Get Help Today Sticky HP