*Photo caption: What do the holidays look like sober? A resident’s Mother gifted several strings of lights to the house. Her son and a housemate bought more lights and set out to “decorate the house until it screamed Merry Christmas.” Junius House, December 2017.*

Sober & The Holidays

What are your hopes for the holidays? That you finish shopping early? That every recipe turns out perfectly and every gift delights? That travelers arrive on time and safe? That it be a memorable holiday for all the right reasons?

If you have an addict or alcoholic in your holiday mix, your hopes are likely different.

You cross your fingers that there won’t be an altercation between family members. That no one passes out at the wrong time. That the holiday doesn’t leave irreparable scars on those you love most. Or that no one winds up with a DUI thus giving a lawyer a generous financial gift in the new year.

Addicts and alcoholics, no matter what their age, background, history, and attempts to get sober, have a knack for getting drunk or high at precisely the wrong time. Like holidays for example.

Sound familiar? We’ve seen it; we’ve lived it. We’ve also seen that scenario change and bring good tidings to entire families, not just during the holidays, but all year ‘round.

Gaston House is a men’s transitional living house filled with men who once pledged in good conscience that they wouldn’t spoil another holiday season.

No matter how strong their will power, how intense their love for their family, how dire the consequences, the real addict and alcoholic had no defense against the first drink or drug. For reasons unknown, this certain class of drinker and user has no choice or control when it comes to these substances. They’ve spoiled holidays, birthdays, special occasions, and an endless list of ordinary days.

The ability to quit or control is what separates the alcoholic or addict from the recreational drinker or user. Period.

Gaston House is located in East Dallas, a couple miles northeast of downtown. Residents are typically 18 to 35 years old, and most have spent time at a treatment facility before coming to us.

If a man has been exposed to or started the 12 Steps while in treatment, Gaston will help him find a sponsor who will immediately and quickly review the work that’s already been done and move promptly forward. If a man has not been introduced to the Steps or feels foggy on their intent, that’s not a problem either.

Being introduced to the Steps in a manner that’s clear and concise along with individual and group therapy that reinforces is top priority, paramount to the Gaston experience. As is being welcomed into a genuine, small and close-knit community. Steps, therapy, and community work hand in hand; guys who’ve worked the Steps surround and support those who are brand new and have not.

Being engaged in the 12 Steps changes a person’s outlook not just on drinking and using, but on the entire world, including holidays. When the obsession to drink and use disappears, events such as holidays no longer are excuses, reasons or justifications for getting drunk or high. They actually become the special occasions we all hope they are.

Gaston House was the original men’s transitional sober living house. A larger sister facility, Junius House, exactly a block away in historic East Dallas opened in 2015. Junius includes a large kitchen, multiple living and dining areas, separate bedrooms with private baths, laundry facilities, and is supported by 24-hour staff supervision. Directly next to Junius is a 12-unit apartment complex for young men who’ve graduated, but wish to stay connected to the community. GastonHouse.com