What Do You Want for Christmas?

Family is holding hands on Christmas diner

What is first on your wishlist this Christmas? It’s almost that time. People across the country will be using the opportunity to make their lists in anticipation of Christmas morning. It’s the season of giving and receiving. For kids, the anticipation of unwrapping the gifts under the tree that they have been trying to guess the contents of will be at a fever pitch. Parents will be doing their best to satisfy their children’s wants without breaking the budget. Others will use the opportunity to give to their favorite charitable causes or be in the spirit to invite a co-worker, one without family around, to come to their home for Christmas dinner.

While millions of children lie their heads down on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Santa Claus, there is another group of people that won’t feel so fortunate. They will lay their heads down somewhere, at some point during the night, and wonder how and why their life has turned into what it has become. Christmas time will not be filled with joy, peace or happiness. It will be a time of self-loathing filled with apathy. It’s not difficult to remember all the Christmas days I spent as an addict. I just wanted to get through it. I didn’t want the constant reminders of better times. I didn’t even remember what peaceful felt like. Every day was an internal struggle, a constant battle within myself questioning every decision I had ever made that led me to this point, and it all came rushing to the surface during a time I knew I was supposed to put on a smile on my face and feel happy when the opposite was true.

My parents went through similar emotions as they put up their front and attempted to find joy during a time in which they were constantly worried about their son’s life. During the last few years of my addiction, my brother and sister stayed away from the scene altogether. I would attempt to get through the day with my parents, all the while knowing I was the reason their other children wouldn’t come home and visit. I would save my best lies for Christmas in a futile attempt to convince my family that everything was fine, that I was doing better. I remember one Christmas in particular, where I convinced my parents to go see a movie on Christmas day. I passed out, high as a kite, for nearly the entire runtime, and then in the car ride home talked about how much I enjoyed the film. I may have caught the last 5 minutes, and my parents were aware. I’ll never forget the tears that ran down their eyes after something that was intended to be escapism and fun. They were lost, and so was I.

Which gets me back to my original question. What is first on your list this year for Christmas? If you are reading this and struggling with addiction and need help, or if you are reading this and love someone who does, there can only be one choice.

As I write this, I am eagerly awaiting a vacation with my family, and they are eagerly awaiting time with me as well. That in of itself is my Christmas miracle, and it can be yours too.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and needs help, then you have already found #1 on your list this year so future Christmas’ isn’t filled with apathy, but with the joy, peace, and happiness intended.

Justin P—Narconon Suncoast Graduate


Drew Jambon

Drew has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 2 years. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Drew is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.