As many of you know addiction creates havoc within families, often making Christmas a difficult time of year. Someone is missing from the dinner table – are they alone, cold, hungry? Or someone is sitting at the table – will they be disruptive, argumentative, violent? This person, who you love with every ounce of your being, can derail any semblance of joy in the blink of an eye.

After years of Christmas heartbreak thanks to my son’s drug addiction, I am tentatively looking forward to this one. Ryan’s situation is as bad as ever – he’s likely to be going back to prison any time now – so my different mood is nothing to do with any changes that he’s made. I think it’s more likely because I’m simply beginning to truly accept his lifestyle choices. In turn that allows me to make my choices: not enabling him with money handouts; quickly blocking him if he becomes abusive on the phone; only meeting him on my terms. Here are my Christmas thoughts:

Christmas past and Christmas now
Life changes over time.
The season was so hard back then
But now it’s almost fine.

Some years ago this time of year
Filled me with so much dread.
Addiction ruled my every thought,
My heart was filled with lead.

Drugs are what my son still does,
Existing to get high.
Once I could not handle it
But these days I get by.

Ten years ago my mind
Was haunted by a voice.
Where will he sleep? What will he eat?
But now I think – his choice!

Whilst loving him with all my heart,
A thing he knows is true.
Acceptance has now set me free
From always feeling blue.

So Christmas is approaching,
At last some festive cheer.
For some it’s such a happy time.
That’s true for me this year.

I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas – I hope you get the peace you deserve ❤️