The following is a list of the stressful holiday thoughts which we got from our vets. We had them draw 3 thoughts each out of a “treat jar,” pair up, and apply the 4 questions and the turnarounds.
We had 22 guys and they could all find them in their lives. Good energy.
I have to go home.
I have to do all the work.
I don’t have a family.
I might not behave.
I have to buy gifts. (I have to have money for gifts.)
I have to be around people.
They might ask me to do something.
I don’t have enough money.
I won’t feel anything (joy).
I’m not being helpful.
I’ll be depressed.
I’ll be alone.
Shopping is a pain.
Cooking is a chore.
All the drunks will be on the road.
I’ll miss my family.
My mom died on Christmas.
I won’t be straight on Christmas.
I have to see family I don’t like.
I have to lie (about Christmas).
I can’t give them what they want.
The white Christmas doesn’t come. (It’s supposed to snow on Christmas.)
I can’t go home (and see certain family members).
I’m not wanted.
I have no input.
I will be judged.
Taking time off from work will put me behind.
I can’t participate.
I should have prepared for the holiday.
I have no girlfriend to share the holiday with.
They’ll be upset with me.
I wish the whole family could be together.
It takes too long to get there.
I might run out of booze.
I have to listen to my mom complain.
I have to stay longer than I want to.
The weather will be lousy.
I might steal the presents.
I have nothing to wear.
My friend was murdered on Thanksgiving eve. (I was supposed to be there.)
I haven’t talked to my family in a while.
The hospital is the loneliest place on a holiday.
They can’t be here. (We won’t be together.)
Talking on the phone makes me upset (miss them more).
I’ll miss my kids.
I have to go into detox. (I have to wait to get into Cat-5.)
I might use.
My family will think I’m relapsing.
I’ll be depressed if I can’t go home.
I’ll spend more money dining out and eating.
I can’t spend time with my kids. (They’re locked up.)
I have to go into my savings to purchase gifts.
Everyone should get together.
They’re not around. (I wish my family was around.)
I have to remember. (It’s disrespectful—it means I don’t care.)
I’ve never had a sober Christmas.
I can’t give my son what I would like.
I’m always the one giving. (I’d like to receive.)
Nobody thinks about me.
I can’t celebrate. (She died on Christmas.)
I have to shop.
Holidays are another reason to get high.
It’s too much.
It has to be perfect.
Everyone has to get along.
I have to get the right thing for everyone or they won’t love me.
I have to like my gifts.
I’m supposed to like my gifts. (People should know what I like.)