December is a month for family gatherings during the holiday season. We asked a list of local folks with different lengths of recovery time how their sobriety affected their relationship with their families.
“My family is ecstatic that I’m sober. They love everything about it. It was not the best relationship before that. I was lying and doing anything to get what I wanted. I wasn’t allowed to know where they lived or have their phone numbers. I was completely cut off. I got a year and they allowed me back in, but then I relapsed and they were like, nope-nope-nope, but it’s gotten better now because they see that I’m really doing it–especially my little sister who had to deal with a lot of it. They are beyond happy that I reached a year sober and very supportive of me.”
—D’Juan Powns, sober since December, 2014.
Tell Them Everything
“They’re all for it. They love me unconditionally. I tell them everything about my life. When I wasn’t sober, I tended to use my mom a lot as a bank, and I didn’t involve anybody or let them know that I was using. I would also avoid family functions. Now I know why they were involved, because they were concerned.They love me. They’re very happy for me and for my sobriety.”
—Doug Dangerfield, sober since November, 2014.
Fear Is Gone
“I just got back from a relapse. I have almost a month now. I’m grateful, but not as grateful as they are, because when I was out they were very scared and desperate. My mother was calling my partner at the time, he would call my sister and they were so lost. Now that I’m back, I can see it in their eyes that they’re resting and they’re happy. Their fear is gone and nothing makes me want to stay sober more than watching them sort of rest and see that I’m OK. The desperation is lifted from them.”
—Freddie Lara, sober since November, 2015.
I Deserved Better
“Oh it’s fantastic. I just celebrated ten years, so it’s really a big deal. My family is proud of me. My friends and my bosses are so supportive. At ten years sober they understand. My relationship with my family was not very good, because for 20 plus years, I wasn’t responsible. It was a mess. I stood up in jail as a newcomer and I really needed my life conditions to change. I had an epiphany and decided I deserved better. Now my family trusts me. I get to babysit my nieces and nephews. I’ve been working the same job for ten years and that in it of itself is a miracle. My life is great.”
—Krystal Delite, sober since November, 2005.
Stay In Gratitude
“My siblings are happy for me. The beauty of being sober is that I do have my sobriety family too. The holidays are hard as my mom died over 6 years ago and my Dad and I don’t speak. I stay in gratitude and action to remember days gone.”
—Jim Fosset, sober since
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