12 Triggers of Christmas

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Thursday, April 26-Saturday, April 28
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 7 delicious and nutritious meals

 Daily yoga practice and Guided meditation

 One afternoon with qualified therapist: Dorothy Maryon

 2 Professional Exercise classes

 Daily Step Study Meetings: Steps 1,2,3

 Optional Facial ($35 additional charge)

 Welcome Basket with recovery materials and self-care items

 Plenty of time for Step Work, Journaling, Relaxation and Self-Care

The 12 Triggers of Christmas

With the stress of the holidays in full swing, I thought it would be appropriate to post a light-hearted spoof on the 12 Days of Christmas. Here are some of the triggers I am experiencing and the recovery way I am trying to deal.

Here goes.  Hopefully you can relate.

Or, actually, hopefully you can’t. 😉


On the 12th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was that perfect picture my friend posted on Facebook of her gorgeously-decked-out home with perfectly placed decorations.

*SUGGESTION: No more checking social media this year.  Comparison is the thief of joy!

On the 11th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was having to walk by Victoria’s Secret at least 5 times while picking up gifts at the mall.

*SUGGESTION: Yet another reason to embrace on-line shopping!

On the 10th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was the endless lists running through my brain of gifts yet to be bought, Christmas parties to plan, kids’ crafts to assemble, work responsibilities to finish up, and oh yeah, all the cooking, cleaning and laundry that doesn’t take off for the holidays.

*SUGGESTION: Step 11–I need you!  The laundry will still be there when I get back from yoga.

On the 9th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

were the 42 text messages from my mother-in-law within a 30 minute space of time.

*SUGGESTION: I can set boundaries!  I don’t have to take responsibility for what is not mine.  Learning to be firm but kind can be tricky.

On the 8th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

were the hints that my in-laws were dropping about staying with us the whole week of Christmas.

*SUGGESTION: If I will feel resentment, I am accountable to set a boundary!  I have learned that my ability to feel peace and serenity must come before meeting others’ demands for time or attention.  I can be true to myself and communicate my needs.

On the 7th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was my husband going into isolation-sullen-17-year-old mode whenever he is in the presence of his parents.

*SUGGESTION: Detaching with love is an art form and I will practice!  I will reject black and white thinking and embrace the truth that recovery is a process that happens one moment at a time, for both of us.  I can detach, be patient, and give time for that process to take place.

On the 6th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

were the “not enoughs”…”not enough” gifts for the kids, “not enough” home-baked cookies, “not enough” perfection, “not enough” peace in our noisy home, “not enough” time to visit the homeless or take cookies to the nursing home, “not enough” cans for the food drive.

*SUGGESTION: I can reject the idea of “not enough.” Step 3 can help me make my offering, then sit back and know that my imperfections are all a part of His perfection.

On the 5th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was worrying if those extra Christmas treats were beginning to make me resemble the jolly old elf himself.

*SUGGESTION: That’s why they make stretchy pants!  I can enjoy all the deliciousness of the season in moderation and practice gratitude for the gift of an amazing body that carries me through life.  I can remind myself that sexiness has much more to do with my confidence and connection to my partner than it does with Christmas cookies.

On the 4th day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

were memories from past Christmases that bring pain and fear.

*SUGGESTION: I can breathe and recite mantras:  “Today is Today.” As I learn from the past but live in the present, I can let go of the pain but keep the lessons.  And I grow in my ability to trust that my Higher Power will always give me enough for Right Now.

On the 3rd day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was fearing all the triggers that will surely come from spending extended time with extended family.

*SUGGESTION: I can keep my sponsor on speed-dial!  Surrendering On my knees, On the phone, In the box.  I will strive to be humble, honest, and accountable through each sticky situation.

On the 2nd day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was my kids jumping off couches, constantly taking ornaments off my tree, and touching all my windows and furniture with candy-cane covered fingers.

*SUGGESTION: I can make amends.  Even if I mess up and scream at my kids and make a mess of everything, there is no mess too big for my Higher Power to fix.  I can be accountable.  I can try again.  I can ask for forgiveness.  I can start again at Step 1-“My Life is Unmanageable.”

On the 1st day of Christmas, the thing that triggered me…

was NOTHING.  Because by that first day of Christmas, I will have finally figured it out.

Well…that may be overly optimistic.  Perhaps that’s just my Christmas wish.

We’d love to laugh with you over your Christmas triggers, and hear how living recovery can give you a more peaceful 12 days of Christmas this year through the chaos!

4 thoughts on “12 Triggers of Christmas

  1. Thank you for this article!
    My biggest trigger of Christmas: family traditions we have outgrown but are still expected to participate in…
    2nd trigger of Christmas: my kids envy…”my friends mom does elf on the shelf every year My friends get….etc.
    Plus almost every one you listed I relate too.
    I love this article, it made me laugh and it made me cry. It was so nice to hear someone else feeling the same things I feel around the holidays. I love, love the suggestion on number 8. I always give up my peace to please the parents, especially the in-laws since this is “the one time of the year” we are all together. Thank you for reminding me I can set a boundary!

    1. Oh man, this was too true for my life! Especially the memories of Christmas past, and inlaws. I love the reminders of the steps and tools to combat these triggers!

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