We’re in trouble here in Michigan. I just heard the breathless report on the news… The Omicron Variant is up 800% in just a few days!
It was one case. Now it’s eight.
We’re on day 643 of 14 days to flatten the curve…
Folks, the silly season is in full swing! We’ve got variants, masks, mandates, vaccines, attitudes and frayed nerves and family… what could go wrong when you drop a recovering alcoholic or addict in there?!
In these trying and troubled times™, we have to remember we’re all in this together©!
If you’ve had it “up to here” with over-blown, silly clichés, masks, mandates, and virtue-signaling, we have to get a little radical to get through the hoopla of Christmas parties sane, happy and above all else, sober.
My first big tip is “don’t participate” when the rhetoric gets cranked up. Look, someone is bound to broach the political or religious boundary when the conversation gets going. The hardest thing I have passing up is a softball with a perfect arc that you can just wait on and crush. Take the “omicron variant”. Someone will bring up that it’s 70 times more contagious in the hopes of stoking fear because they watch too much CNN. I like to say that I see the contagiousness of the new variant as a positive. The new variant is more contagious, sure, but it’s also vastly less deadly. Omicron will push out the more deadly Delta variant, so we’re actually several steps closer to the new Covid virus being “the common cold” and going back to full normal. This is a perfectly logical and reasonable response based on reality and science.
There’s one problem with that: you’ll open up a can of worms that can’t be shut because you’re not demonstrating proper fealty at the alter of Covid Panic™. Even though the scientific soundness of that response can’t be disputed with what we know about the new variant, those invested fear merchants can’t allow sanity to stand. You will be opening yourself up to name-calling the likes of which you won’t be prepared for.
Better would be the simple, “Look, let’s not get into the politics of a virus, please. Not at a Holiday dinner. We’ve had enough of that. Can’t we just have a nice time together?”
If that’s met with derision, and it likely will be, then we move to, “I’ve tried to be reasonable here. If you want to take this further, we can. I was just hoping to avoid the hot-button argument topics. We’ve had enough of that shoved at us to last a decade.”
If that doesn’t work, go with “Omicron is a good thing” as detailed above, and sit back and watch jaws drop.
Dealing with family members is often really trying for we in recovery. The less we can participate in the ugliness, the better. Try being being a light of good cheer, ignoring those who lead with negativity. Look at it as your reaction is being “fished” for. Try not taking the bait. This is often easier said than done (I speak from experience).
Finally, remember these things when dealing with an ugly situation over the holidays:
Recovery comes first. We don’t have to be mean about it, but we always protect our recovery. If a situation brings us too close to a craving, leave that situation and get your ass to a meeting where you’ll find friends. And yes, you can leave because you knew to leave yourself a way out before you put yourself in a potentially stressful situation to begin with. Second, go to your meetings, then schedule a few extra over the Holiday weeks if you can.
Family is what it is, my friends. Try not to read too much into it and enjoy it the best you can. For those times you can’t, get the hell out and find some friends in recovery. Chances are, there are more than a few going through the same things you are. At the very least, you’ll have a few good stories to tell over coffee.