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209: Questioning the Ties that Bind: Boundaries, Traditions, and the Evolving Family (Sort Of)
Welcome to Recovery (Sort Of), the podcast where we explore the winding paths of mental health recovery. Join us on a journey of self-discovery and growth, as we navigate the highs, lows, and unexpected detours of the recovery process. From managing anxiety and depression to coping with trauma and grief, each episode delves into real-life experiences, insights, and practical strategies for finding balance and healing.
In this episode, we break free from the traditional script of family. We unpack the pressure to conform, question outdated expectations, and redefine what it means to belong. Join us as we explore:
Boundaries with family: When to say yes, when to say no, and how to create healthy space without sacrificing love.
Rethinking traditions: Are passed-down practices enriching or suffocating? Discover tips for honoring roots while carving your own path.
The ever-evolving family landscape: Beyond blood ties, chosen families, and navigating complex dynamics in a modern world.
Finding your ”why”: What purpose does family serve in your life? This episode is a personal quest for meaning and belonging.
Whether you're navigating familial tensions, seeking a sense of belonging, or simply curious about the shifting sands of modern families, this episode offers insightful answers and practical tools for building relationships that thrive. Tune in and join the conversation!
How to find us and join the conversation:
Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/recoverysortof/message
In this episode, we break free from the traditional script of family. We unpack the pressure to conform, question outdated expectations, and redefine what it means to belong. Join us as we explore:
- Boundaries with family: When to say yes, when to say no, and how to create healthy space without sacrificing love.
- Rethinking traditions: Are passed-down practices enriching or suffocating? Discover tips for honoring roots while carving your own path.
- The ever-evolving family landscape: Beyond blood ties, chosen families, and navigating complex dynamics in a modern world.
- Finding your “why”: What purpose does family serve in your life? This episode is a personal quest for meaning and belonging.
Whether you’re navigating familial tensions, seeking a sense of belonging, or simply curious about the shifting sands of modern families, this episode offers insightful answers and practical tools for building relationships that thrive. Tune in and join the conversation!
Listen in to the conversation, and then share your thoughts with us.
How to find us and join the conversation:
welcome back it’s recovery sord of the podcast where we explore the struggles of Life the challenges of mental health and Recovery in the spaces between we express our personal views on life here and this podcast is not meant to replace medical advice or tell anyone the right way to live this podcast is best used as a place of curiosity and questioning to accompany you on your journey be aware there is strong language here we [Music]
go [Applause] [Music]
okay so as we get through this time of year I guess it’s always interesting for me to look at uh my relationship with my family my extended family and what that means um my wife and I have talked a lot about that uh coming from families with addiction and mental health issues there’s obviously not been the most healthy relationships in some of those areas but yet we it feels like Society tells us we’re supposed to hang on and maintain and and like take some of that [ ]
because these people are blood relatives and because we owe them some I don’t know I don’t know that’s where I get you know into my struggles is like how much do I owe to these relationships because we share a similar bloodline and how much is it you know that it’s just not worth it and I should invest more into relationships with people that are like-minded that have shared goals and values for me being people like in recovery and people that are in you know more healthy spaces um so that’s one of the the struggles we you know have been talking about with um just getting through the holidays my familyes do a big Christmas get together thing and it’s always you know should we go should we not go why do we go what do we doing in this four these are people that I see like maybe twice a year that I don’t have a ton in common with and every year you go it’s like a catchup sort of reunion type thing um but if they were co-workers I don’t know that I would even put out the same energy to maintain these relationships in that way and uh I don’t know it’s interesting to reflect on I still do it uh we still do it at least for my maternal side of the family even though my mom’s passed on mostly out of remembrance for my mother cuz she was big on that stuff and was one of the big uh what do you call it like foundational people in creating all that stuff and would be the one that called all her brothers and sisters she had a big family seven brothers and sisters um mostly the four sisters were really close and even though uh geographically they were kind of spread apart there was still this obligatory thing to try to get together together at least once or twice a year and of course now we’re all these Generations out right like it’s my mom you know and then us and now we’re all married with all of our kids and now with some of those people not us yet but some of like my cousins like their kids have kids so [ ] I can’t remember all these people’s names you know what I mean we’re like four or five generations deep of like I don’t know if they’re even really cousins anymore right right and it’s like what effort do I want to put in to Main mainin in these relationships with these people that for lack of a better word I don’t really give that much a [ ]
about well and it’s interesting like this the holiday season going through you know that Thanksgiving Christmas New Year’s kind of time does highlight these these obligations that I think we feel a lot of in these societal family roles right like what is this role for this person and how close am I supposed to be and how much effort am I supposed to help and when am I supposed to drop everything for this one I think they’re there a thing too not to cut you off but there’s almost a thing too where if you don’t have that stuff or you’re not doing it that something’s wrong with you right right right I I guess it’s like I think it’s there all year but maybe throughout the year we we discover Ways and Means to cope with it right like some people just move way the hell away from their family so they don’t have to be in the day-to-day but then there’s still this oh well at Christmas you’re supposed to go back and visit or whatever the holidays and like I mean I I’ve seen this working with people who have been abused by their caregivers and decided to cut off Communications with them and the external pressure from other family members from their own friends is always but it’s your father and and maybe he’s passing away and you’re going to regret it like everybody always thinks they know that you’re going to regret this thing or or regret not doing this thing and say to so like Thanksgiving like say to so oh what are you doing for Thanksgiving you that’s big topic people like to ask oh uh uh me and my wife are just going to go out to dinner at a restaurant like people almost like oh like it’s sad yeah like they feel sorry for you that you’re not you know surrounded by you know all these people right right and and so it’s a good exploration of like what kind of questions what kind of search inside of us can help us figure out where that healthy line is for that like when are we supposed to care and when are we allowed so to speak to say it doesn’t matter to me or that effort doesn’t actually reward me and I don’t want to do it anymore and I don’t know yeah and so Jen being uh a little more healthy in some of those areas than I traditionally had been uh her family Dynamics were a little weird and uh we had some things happen I don’t know I guess I can get into it [ ] it I don’t care um so when our kids were m Ed by her stepfather we didn’t get a like ton of support from her family to be like yeah [ ] that guy you know we’re excommunicating him from the family it was sort of that traditional like well let’s just maybe we can talk about this and work do we really need to get like police involved and you know her mom was kind of like this didn’t happen and you guys are liars and so there was a lot of [ ] trauma there around some of that and if it makes you feel any better I think you actually shared this when you shared this story originally like three and a half years ago so you know for her and me and I guess I hesitate cuz I don’t give a [ ]
but this is my wife and her family damic so I want to be a little sensitive to that part um I wish I was better at that actually yeah so she you know for a while had made a decision that she didn’t want anything to do with any of them like if if these people were not put putting our children as the priority in all this that they were not safe people to have in our life because if situations came up like that again they were not going to protect our children or have our children’s back they were going to be worried about self-preservation Family Image whatever you know made that decision and it was that was like really healthy for me to look at because I would go oh it’s family and that’s just the way things are and you just water under the bridge and you just move on because that’s probably what would have happened in our family you know my family would you know in this case it wasn’t my family member that did the abuse so my family was all super supportive and they had come to court with us and did things like that which for my wife made her much closer to my family like she respected and appreciated even though there wasn’t that blood connection there was that emotional support that idea of like protecting our children for for standing up for them and all that stuff and so that meant more to her than this Blood of even like her sisters and her own mother so you know that was a really healthy like I would say modeling of like yeah no [ ] that like I don’t care what your title blood connection whatever is like there’s these aren’t just words that mean nothing like they have values tied into them that Trump whatever blood connection we have H so I think one of the times when I see this question in my life and it feels slightly safe to explore with myself uh we go to my wife’s um family’s Christmas gathering which is kind of like a weekend long not entirely for all people they they generally have a dinner Friday night Saturday morning the kids open gifts Saturday afternoon the adults open gifts Saturday evening there’s more hangout like you know play card games and stuff time Sunday morning there’s a breakfast that’s kind of what it looks like not everybody stays for the whole thing or is there for all of it um but like it started with her father’s siblings right and it was their mother the father’s siblings and then you know over time their spouses their kids their families came but now we’re at the level of like Generations out like you’re talking about like when when it was just her father and the siblings and the spouse is they knew each other pretty intimately they could buy each other Christmas gifts like you drew names out of a hat but you had a relative idea of what to get the person because you kind of knew them there was like eight of y’all right yeah we used to do some of that and now there’s you know 38 kids and all their kids kids and it’s like now it’s just basically become everybody calls the person’s spouse or the person they know that’s in contact with that person and says what do they want and then that person goes to the person and says what do you want and then the the chain feeds back and then everybody buys that gift and I’m just like in my mind for me as an outsider this isn’t my family doesn’t matter right do whatever the [ ]
you want but as an outsider I’m like this is missing the [ ] point at this point like the point was to do something that connected us and now basically everybody’s just spending $100 on thems the long way like right why don’t we do something different like a white elephant or just something fun or nothing at all or whatever like I don’t know it just seemed such a weird tradition to hold on to when it doesn’t feel like it’s really making any logical sense at this point except people are having gift Shi to the wrong house and then transporting them all to this place in Hagerstown so we can give them to each other yeah well that’s I mean that reminded me at at my mom’s side of the family Christmas party so it used to be you know everyone traded names and you got one of these other cousins nephews whatever and then people I guess got upset that they didn’t feel like the values of the gifts were equal or and there was supposed to be a dollar amount anyway so then it ended up you just bought gifts for your own kid and took them to the party and then Santa gave out right the gift that you and like now I feel like I’m just buying an extra gift for my own kid right what’s the fun in that right right and so I guess that this is where like I think we need a way of reevaluating what we what works for us you know I think for so long we’ve just oper ated under this is the rules we’ve been given this is what we’ve been told it’s supposed to look like so this is what I do to try to reach a level of connection and acceptance in my Society but it’s not feeling good and it doesn’t make any sense and it looks all stupid and how do we re-evaluate that from like a better perspective and I don’t know maybe we start with like what did your family look like growing up and how has it changed for you cuz mine definitely doesn’t look like it did Growing Up I barely talked to my family yeah and I got to say so some of these family get togethers at least in my I know peoples are different but in my family’s experiences like there even though there is a lot of like alcoholism and stuff in the families these events weren’t usually centered around drinking especially the Christmas one so it was usually pretty healthy and safe like as a kid I remember it being a good really fun time to go and like see all my cousins but the difference back then as compared to now is like we all grew up around Baltimore city in hamon where we would see each other more than just this once or twice a year so this was just a get an excuse to like get together with a bunch of people that you already had relationships with to have a big party that was fun and centered around food and gifts and all this the spirit of the holiday but now it’s different because it’s like we went to Westminster and it’s you know for us a twoh hour ride and you know then some of my other cousins it’s a long ride and my you know one of my aunts is really old and kind of sickly now so she doesn’t come and then none of her kids come and you know we were the only people there for my family at all this year and it’s it’s just like okay this is actually kind of sad and depressing you know like half the family is not even coming anymore and like Santa Claus you know gave out the there were three kids you know which I could show you this picture from probably eight or 10 years ago and it’s 100 people easy 100 people you know and I bet you yesterday was 30 so it’s like what are we hanging on to this for I mean I know why we went so for me it gets into assessing my values what are we doing this for you know and I had asked ourselves that is this worth putting in this effort and like with us we talked about it with our kids on the way home and uh you know after we left and we were expressing to them like we really appreciated that they would go out of their way because my kids are adults they could easily say oh I have to work or I got something else going on or I can’t make it and we wouldn’t force them to you know they’re not obligated to and uh no they still go they sing the Christmas songs they do the stuff they’re supposed to do they hang out all day you know because it’s a 2hour ride there and three hours at this thing and a 2hour ride home and so we just talked about the values of like supporting my aunts and in remembrance of like my mom you know there was a lot of that like just remembering you know they called her nanny you know and and remembering her and why we do it is to remember and support her and we talked about her a little bit and you know seeing my aunts and cousins and you know it was the spirit of like trying to stay connect connected to family so it felt like the right thing to do yesterday but there’s definitely been other times where it has not felt like that at all I I think that’s part of like what has happened for me is that in that kind of re-evaluation right so one uh just and again this this thing this my wife’s family’s celebration is like a a clear thing for me to look at because in my life growing up there’s nothing like that we don’t I don’t have an experience where I went anywhere to celebrate for multiple days at all like that’s not what I I know so like my experience was really more like that we traveled to wherever we had to whether it was half an hour an hour 2 hours whatever we stay for 2 to three hours and then you get the hell out of there and that was like all you could tolerate of people according to my dad um so that’s what I got right um and just this idea of like her experience with it versus mine like she has this nost Nostalgia and this recall of these fun times at Christmas Gatherings with these people and they used to be closer and they used to get together more often when the the grandmother the matriarch of the family was alive and like now for a guy like me who came into the family towards the end of that experience like I see these people once or twice a year and the only conversations I know how to have with people I see once or twice a year are the kind of [ ] hate how you been how’s the weather how’s your job all that [ ] like I want to talk with people who I talk with frequently and we can talk about deeper [ ]
hence why I do this podcast and we don’t talk about the weather um and and I guess it’s like I’m trying to explain to her this feels different for us like you’re going in feeling a feeling a connection and all this and I’m feeling like I’m almost under attack at all times trying to answer these questions about how I’ve been and that’s stressful for me so did you want to add anything about Caroline you said away I know Caroline’s here she hasn’t said it’s hard to get a word in with you guys say you guys are just I’m not taking that one on I left some space a couple of times and she didn’t jump in so really I ain’t owning that I looked at you I just stared at you before the last one I know but but you didn’t like you didn’t go I know I didn’t go but cuz I I because I guess I kind of feel like I’m like I don’t know like I’m gonna change the subject away from what you guys are talk do you not have input about no I do I think it’s different I think I think yours is relevant had it please I mean so for me I grew up in like I very small family my dad had two brothers but one lived across the country and the other one had two kids that were 15 20 years older than me and my sister gotcha um and then my mom had no siblings so there was really no extended family especially once the elderly you know ones started to die off so um when Matt and I got married he had you know he had three cousins and he had his sister and everybody had significant others so there was like an extended he had aunts and uncles and so I loved that like being able to be a part of like a bigger extended family and these were people that I would only see a couple times a year but they were people that I had developed relationships with and what you’re laughing well my wife reminded me recently that when I originally the first few years of being introduced to this civan Christmas thing and this big family I too loved it and appreciated all this love and acceptance that was going on and I I was just laughing to myself I was like man Caroline be grateful you didn’t get that long enough to hate it I mean I had it for8 years that long okay I was thinking like six and even still I have it to an extent I mean there um when Matt passed I stopped getting invitations to Christmas Day which was the smaller just um nuclear family thing but I still as they are happening which they happen L these bigger Christmas celebrations I do get invited um and I’m actually missing it this year because I’m I’m going I’m traveling for Christmas um which is a bummer like I would have liked to have gone because it would be nice to see people and connect but these are people that I’ve known for years not ever spent tons of time with um on the flip side of that my so my sister’s been traveling for Christmas the last couple of years and so I end up now that I’m single just going to my dad’s house um and then celebrating Christmas day with my dad’s wife’s family which these are people that I mean when I went to that last year I’d say 60 to 70% of the people there I’d never met before um and then the people people I had met aside from my dad and his wife I’d probably only met you know once or twice um it was not fun right it was it was I mean and not that there was anything wrong with the celebration but to be in that situation where you know I’m single I don’t have kids everyone else is there with their significant others and their kids and um I don’t know most of these people um I opted not to do that this year so I’m sorry what are you doing goad yeah I mean so I was just going to say so I’m traveling for the holidays or you know I’m I just I plan a trip and I’m just going me and my dogs and I’m going to ski on Christmas I’m going to do something I want to do that’ll make me hopefully happier than what last year brought um so can I just ask a quick question do you feel like it was the I mean not to put down any of the people was it the people or the environment circumstances yeah I mean to just be surrounded by everybody with their significant others and children when I don’t have that and they’re not people that I have a connection with to begin with yeah it just was kind of like a big casted a big bright light on the things that are going on in my life right now that don’t make me particularly happy so okay and one thing I that felt similar for me um there were some years I was trying to be more included in family more inclusive in family I don’t know how I want to say that but like basically my father’s siblings all moved and spread apart and they you know didn’t really show up for him and I don’t really do a whole lot of reaching out to them I guess if they were to ever to say hi I’d say hi but I don’t really talk to them so that’s that my mother’s side her siblings were older and have all passed away by now um unfortunately so she was going to some Christmas stuff with like her I guess nieces and nephews really um her siblings kids so I was starting to go we had one that was in talson that was just like her family members and then one that was one of her family members and then her spouse’s family too so we went for a few years trying them out the one that was like just our family felt really nice and inate the other one felt really really [ ] awkward and like again it’s not that this guy’s family was [ ] weird or nothing I mean maybe I have no idea but just the awkwardness of like all these [ ] people I’ve never seen before and it’s not like I’m mingling cuz I’m not a mingling kind of guy and I don’t really want to have those awkward conversations like that [ ]
feels miserable for me so yeah I don’t think it’s about the people it’s just not a situation I wanted to go to so I stopped but I think there’s a I think there’s a difference between you and I too though which is like I don’t mind that you know I don’t mind going into a situation and having small talk and meeting people I think you know if I Envision that situation that I was in last year and I had the same thing as everyone else which was like the partner and the family I think I would have had a great time I think it was really just that it was casting that light on like I’m the only other single person here besides like an 80y old Widow like and see I grew up both sides of my parents’ families were big so my dad had seven brothers and sisters and my mom had seven brothers and sisters and both sides of the family at least when we were kids did Big get together and I was close with all those aunts and uncles and there was multiple times a year they would get together but we again we all lived like geographically lived in the same areas so we saw them more than just at these times and so it felt like getting together with like family that you knew whereas now it’s getting away from that you know and it’s like even maintaining just a relationship with even my brother it’s like he moved to Florida and now since he’s moved down there like I don’t think he listens I hope not but like he’s put zero effort into maintaining a relationship with us and I put some in you know initiation into trying to maintain a relationship but it finally took you know my wife pointing out to me she’s like look you can’t have a relationship with somebody that does not reciprocate and you know because like when he first moved down there like we took one of our summer vacations and went down and spent it down there to visit with him and his kids and you know spend time with them when he comes up here he doesn’t even call us to get together with us it’s like it might happen as a side note if my sister all invites us to her house on the same day but he doesn’t like call me and say hey I’m coming up on this day you know do you want to try to get together for dinner like so it’s like well [ ]
that’s my brother and then I feel like shitty like I’m supposed to like ah I need to have a better relationship with my brother and I’m sad that I don’t and you know so now I’m just like H I don’t know I still I feel a little sad about it but I don’t take on any obligation from that and I’ll still you know shoot him a text on his birthday birthday just like it would any other friend or common acquaintance but we don’t have like a closeness or a connection whereas there’s guys I see at my home group every week that I feel a much closer connection with that I would probably rather hang out with around Christmas than him at this point well and I and I think maybe for me this is one of those things I always try to look back like what does our DNA say from long long ago and still and like how does that look different now and I think previously like yeah your family was your [ ] community that was the only people in your neighborhood we were all related at that point almost and like yeah like you said your experience of having all those siblings for your parents and like cousins in the neighborhood I grew up in a neighborhood neighborhood where most families had that and I was the [ ]
Outsider that wasn’t known or wasn’t like the third generation friend of a cousin of this other family or whatever like it was all these family alliances and even though my family wasn’t super spread out yet I mean they’re way more spread out now but like they were spread out enough where we didn’t see them a whole lot you know and so I don’t have that feel of like oh These Are My People This Is My Tribe and what I have seen is generally a as those connections faded like it faded in both directions and nobody seems to there doesn’t seem to be a problem with that so I’m all right with it like I put effort into what gives me a reward in life and like that’s where I need to really and and presently reestablish and reevaluate all my relationships you know from my marriage on down like is this providing the reward it was supposed to because if not why am I keep putting all this effort into this [ __ ] yeah I agree I mean I I I mentioned those cousins that were or 20 years older than than I when their father died we pretty much stopped seeing them in their family and I’ve been fine with that I mean you know like if they’re not making an effort I’m not going to make an effort I invited both of them to my wedding and my female cousin came which was it was really nice to see her um but then nothing really happened since then until this year we my dad coordinated with the female cousin and we all met in Ocean City and again it was nice it was nice to see them but it’s really not going to happen again I haven’t seen my male cousin her
brother 15 years 18 years I mean you know whatever I mean to be honest as a guy who always feels like there’s too many obligations and pressures and stresses hanging over my [ ] head I’m glad that the only real person in my family that I have to do anything with is my mom that’s it my mom my wife my kids after that like I there is nobody else that I feel obligated to there’s a couple family members I talk to here and there that’s it and that feels great for me because I don’t know and and and it would feel probably way different if I had those close connections if I had grown up if I had the cousins if I had that would felt like a a friendship with somebody in my family but I don’t even know any of them yeah and and so maybe oddly this is a thing I’m putting back on myself and I say that because we were talking about like this year um we have no plans at Christmas it’s just us and our immediate family going to be home and there’s a part of me that’s like oh that’s great and then it’s like oh I feel like we need to be getting together with people you know I don’t know it’s weird I’m like why do I feel like I need to be getting together with people why can’t I just sit home and watch football and do nothing you know well we talked about so maybe this is the thing we were talking about two of like starting a new Christmas tradition where as a family we’re like may maybe we just start a Christmas tradition um and of course we do usually go look at Christmas lights we ride around look at Christmas lights and stuff like that yeah so we’re trying to figure out is this your year we start a new Christmas Day tradition that isn’t that’s doing something fun that we all want to do yeah no that’s awesome we like Caroline skiing idea that sounds awesome well we were talking about going like tubing or something later in the week and and that’s what I’m trying to yeah taking my brain from saying this is the right special way to make Christmas meaningful is you go to these things and you see these people to what would feel like it would make this special and meaningful for the people right here that actually matter to me because that’s what I want to do like these this is what matters the people I see regularly the people I feel connected to and that’s what I’m doing I you know it’s like I’m thinking like what what do I want to do what’s going to feel good yeah what’s going to make me happy and I so I made a decision that the options in front of me weren’t going to make me happy so I’m taking a hard left I’m doing something else and am I going to be happy being all alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day aside from my dogs I don’t know I hope I’ll be happier than I was last year I will say this uh conceptualizing it ahead of time as will I be happy being all alone is probably not going to contribute to you finding happiness yeah just say yeah and see but I do the same thing that’s what I mean like oh we’re going to be all alone on Christmas just me and my family and like looking at that is there’s something wrong with it and there’s not something like it’s just like why can’t that be okay why do I feel like I got to put these pressures on that I need to be more you know or that I need more than what I have I wonder if that brings us to this thing I’ve been thinking about and maybe yall can say if it doesn’t and we can just not go there um this idea that we get ahead of ourselves and decide what we want before we have the stuff to even think about doing it I guess um I know that sounds [ ] stupid
like like the idea in our head is that the right way to be is that we’re supposed to be coupled up on Christmas Eve originally and we go into the world trying to find the person to fit this thing we think is the right way to be and it feels backwards cuz I feel like I’d rather just be living my life and be like hey it’s Christmas Eve cool hi Billy hi Caroline and then if I meet a person that I want to be around more then saying oh man how cool would it be to spend Christmas Eve with this specific person because I like them and I feel like we just got the concept in our head of a position to fill first and then we’re just seeking the world to cram anybody into it and I I feel like we’re doing this in a lot of ways well and then I think of course too the opposite of that like how many people are with someone with with Christmas where they’re like I wish I was not with this [ ]
on Christmas that is very true wish I could be out doing something else I have been there no interestingly I so in some of the you know counseling stuff I’ve been doing I realized that I do that in a lot of areas of my life like I have precon preconceptions or roles or ideas about this is what marriage is supposed to look like and it fits in this box and this is what job is supposed to look like and it fits in this box and this is what best friend is supposed to look like and it fits in this box and if I don’t have that person to fill that best friend role I feel like something’s missing even though I have a bunch of relationships with a bunch of people no one’s feeling this preconceived role that I’ve written out you know with these checkboxes and so then I feel like I’m inadequate in my life because I haven’t met these check boxes but they’re all [ ] that I’ve created in my own head they’re not anything you know that someone told me oh you don’t have a best friend like it’s [ ]
that I’ve decided for myself to feel bad about well it’s even like you talking about man I wish I I think this Christmas day thing I might feel bad and like I’m supposed to be going out to connect and do things and it’s like we get the idea of that’s what it’s supposed to be and then we’ll go visit [ ] random strangers that we barely know to to fill our need as opposed to understand and like if you have people in your life that you really want to go connect with on Christmas go do that yeah not then that’s not the thing or being so stuck there like Caroline said go on ski and I’m like [ ] we could jump in the car and go skiing on Christmas day that sounds [ ] awesome right right you know but I’m so stuck in what I think it’s supposed to be and what it’s supposed to look like that I miss opportunities for better things where else do we do we do that idea is it all of our lives or we I do it everywhere because I’m a control freak and that’s my way of having control over everything I mean that’s part of my my therapy stuff what I’m learning about myself because then I’m not happy at my job because it doesn’t meet the right check boxes and I’m not happy in my marriage because it doesn’t meet to check boxes and my kids aren’t meeting these check you know so everywhere no one’s going to meet all these fictitious checkboxes of what I think Perfection is supposed to look like you know has has Hallmark ruined it has Hallmark sold us on the idea that this is what Christmas Eve like really like not just Hallmark obviously but our whole movie media industry like why is Christmas Eve supposed to be this one particular thing like I well Christmas is supposed to be when you meet a random stranger and fall in love sight yeah in a yeah I mean that’s that’s the Christmas movies they don’t abduct you I thought it was about eating dinner at a Chinese
restaurant I don’t know I saw one one time where somebody got a I think it was tuberculosis but they called it something different which consumption consumption yeah somebody got consumption in like the 1800 well funny enough we did actually get stuck eating Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant one year well see it didn’t come from nowhere no we went up to Massachusetts to visit Leona we didn’t really plan out like Christmas dinner and then we’re like oh what are we going to do for Christmas and everything was closed except for the Chinese restaurant this one still fascinates me because I didn’t do Christmas dinner I like that’s not a thing to me so every time I hear about the turkey or the ham on Christmas I’m like what yeah people do what I guess for me where a lot of that started was my mom so she grew up in a really abusive and neglectful household and I for her uh materialism was a big thing in her life cuz she grew up with nothing so when we were kids we kind of got spoiled and got a lot of things same with my dad she had gotten out of that situation and like Christmas the first year my wife came to Christmas at my parents house she was like oh my god I’ve never [ ] seen anything like that there was like piles of presents for like not just us but then all the grandkids and I mean my mom probably spent thousands of dollars at Christmas oh my dear Lord Jesus you know there was piles of presents for all the kids and my wife was like this is [ ]
crazy you know but that was a big deal to my mom was like everybody getting together on Christmas and like my sister and her kids and us and our kids and my brother and his kids and when she was alive like it was pretty obligatory because if you didn’t come you weren’t getting [ ] like she wasn’t shipping that [ ] to your house like you if you weren’t there you didn’t get your stuff so a funny story just that that you reminded me of uh we went stocking shopping last night my wife and I and like uh first of all we spent $450 on stocking stuff which is [ ] ridiculous Oh I thought you meant the actual stocking no no no the stuff to go in them and I cannot believe we spent that much which is insane talking about your thousands of Christmas presents or thousands of dollars um but driving there we saw three different houses that we drove past that uh like your wife’s perception of your mom in that moment I looked at all three of them and thought yeah that’s diagnosable like there’s definitely a mental health disorder going on with that many things in your [ ] yard light up oh God yes and don’t get me wrong I [ ] love it like I love it I’m doing that in my house dear God put as many as you can I will look at all of them I don’t care but yes that’s diagnosable and there’s an issue going on oh [ ] yes oh God that’s it’s just people that hell no oh I think it’s fun so this year you know we’ve been I’ve been slowly adding like Christmas lights each year trying to figure out how to do them where they don’t look like [ ]
stuff like that and so Jen’s like well what is your vision for I’m like I don’t have like my vision is [ ] like what’s that uh the National Lampoons Christmas vacation where the [ __ ] guy’s house is all lit up and you can see it from space like that’s my vision she’s like well no not that cuz I asked her I’m like how much money can I spend on Christmas lights this year that’s hilarious we kept it simple this year thankfully um I’ve done nothing this year perfect literally nothing I’m not I didn’t put a tree up I didn’t I was going to put my wreaths on the windows and then I didn’t get around to it cuz I have like solar powered um wreaths with like white lights on them which is nice for my you know my old looking house but I didn’t get around to it and at this point I’m like what’s the point Christmas isn’t there’s some days left yeah but anyway but I won’t be there too so well I will boo your house when I ride by and then also applaud you for taking care of yourself and not Decor feel like [Music] it have you found that listening to the recovery sort of podcast has helped you in your day-to-day Journey please share the message of compassion and well-being with the loved ones in your life connect with us more at recovery sort of.com Facebook Instagram threads YouTube and other social media spaces and have a great [Music] [Applause] [Music]
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