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Letter: Stressful Holiday Thoughts

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.)

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