I can remember that long cold run I did in the dark among all the shut down restaurants and empty streets that Thanksgiving ten years ago when alcohol had taken over my husband’s mind and body.

I realized mid jog I probably shouldn’t be running that late alone in deserted parking lots in complete darkness. 

But I didn’t care. I had to get a breath and take a moment away from the man I no longer recognized. 

Now, in exactly one month, my husband will be eight years sober. And I can recognize him again. 

However, this change didn’t happen overnight. 

It took a commitment to shift our focus to these five adjustments - to go from me wanting to take a run in the dark, to us all sitting down again arguing over which Christmas movie we want to watch. (Our youngest usually wins.)

Here’s Five Simple Things We Stay Committed to Every Year at the Holidays 

These activities have helped move us from 'Running in the Dark' to 'Popcorn and Christmas Movies'!

  1. Plan an outdoor activity if possible. Sledding, skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, taking a walk in nature, hiking in the local hills, or sipping hot chocolate by a fire pit. Getting outside in fresh air and nature allows for a different perspective and something to look forward to.
  1. For an indoor activity, try something new you have never done before. Create a special Gingerbread house, put together a cookie exchange, or a fun game night.
  1. Make cooking an event. Research recipes, plan a menu, and get everyone involved from appetizers to desserts. Branch out to keep it exciting. 
  1. Head out to the movies. There are always some Christmas movies that have been newly released. Grab a popcorn and soda, sit back and relax.
  1. Finally, remember it’s not your job to keep your loved one sober. Support them, but do not wear yourself out trying to “fix” things or make things perfect. Ultimately, it is their responsibility to work the program and take care of themselves. You are in charge and responsible for you. Make yourself a priority.