After taking a week break from checking the alcoholism support group I subscribed to about 3 months ago, I returned to many interesting forum updates from participants that I have been following. One particularly interesting post was from a member named blanka44 who discussed her intense fear of Thanksgiving (and other holidays) where her family gathers and a lot of alcohol is consumed. “Blanka” is a recovering alcoholic who has history of alcoholism in her family. In previous posts she has commented on family fights that have occurred due to over consumption and even two members of her family that are no longer on speaking terms. She talked about how holidays are not the joyous occasions for her that are typically associated with the season as they always set the stage for “large gatherings of alcoholics where the supply is plentiful”. Not only do such environments lead to family fall-outs, but they also add to her own temptations. She mentioned that she made it through Thanksgiving succesfully but she is very afraid for the upcoming Christmas and New Years festivities.
I found this post very interesting and also very upsetting. I, like most people, look forward to the holidays every year because it’s an opportunity to relax and see friends and family. Blanka, on the other hand, has to worry about her family’s alcoholism and her own temptations. Because her family is dealing with the same problems that she is, she must resort to this online support group for support and reassurance. Most of the comments to her posts suggested that she no longer attend such family gatherings, but that is definitely easier said than done. I fear that if she isolated herself from such occasions, she would be even more inclined to resort the substance abuse that got her into the mess in the first place.
I offered a few words of encouragement to “keep strong” and giving her credit for being brave enough to attend, but I feel this issue is way too serious and personal to offer any advice (because I have never been in sucha predicament). The more posts I read, the more I realize how important these support groups are to individuals dealing with major issues.