First Place Tie Writer's Cramp 12-31-2016
2016 has been a miserable year. 2014 and 2015 were also terrible years. Each year on New Year's Eve I'd make myself the same promises that the next year would be better. In some ways the following year would be an improvement. In other ways it was worse. For example 2016 is the first year since 2013 that I haven't ended the year grieving the death of somebody close to me. In September of 2014 I lost my wife. In February 2015 my father died and then my mother followed in August of 2015. So 2017 will be the first year I have not started with a broken heart.
My best way of dealing with the past few New Year's Eves has been to attend recovery celebrations. I have been in recovery from long term addiction for almost eight years. If I make it until February 9, 2017 I will celebrate eight years of drug free living. So unlike many people, going out and getting hammered on New Year's Eve isn't an option for me. Therefore I try to find activities that I can do with no mind-altering substances involved. I have gone to church a few times and celebrated the incoming year with other Christians. My most meaningful way of celebrating it though is to attend functions sponsored by different recovery groups. The traditions of those groups forbid me to name them as the 11th tradition states that members should remain anonymous at the level of press, radio, and film. Many of us have come to include the world wide web as part of that. Therefore I won't name the groups I attend but will say that I am in recovery.
Recovery parties are always wonderful to me. They are opportunities to do things without mind altering chemicals that I haven't done inn years. For example I attended one party and we had a DJ there. We held our meeting as usual and then began dancing and mingling. Somebody talked me into dancing. Now you must bear in mind that i seldom danced even when I was in active addiction. So I went out on the floor and joined the fun. While I honestly had no idea what I was doing I mimicked others around me. To my total surprise I won a prize for my dancing! To be honest I think the judges probably awarded it because I made them laugh. I'm certain i looked like a beached whale or a seizure patient flopping around out there! It was fun though and that's what counted most.
New Year's Eve parties are always a welcome relief to me. I'm always glad to see the old year go out. It seems that most of the time all the years bring is hardship so each new one has the glimmer of hope that it may be different. Of course they never are because life is life. Life is neither fair nor unfair. It's simply life. However my reactions to life are up to me. I can cry about how unfair life is to me, or I can accept the things about it that are unchangeable and change the rest. Life requires a lot of work. All in all though it's still good to have those few hours before midnight on January 1 to tell myself that the upcoming year will be easier. If nothing else it's a min vacation!
Tied for First Place in the Writer's Cramp 12-31-2016