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Merry Christmas, This Year vs. Last Year / Timothy Gager

So, a year ago I was two days out of the Faulkner Hospital after my neighbor heard me hit the ground. Not proud of that mistake - but I had my reasons.

In March my father died, and two pets died, and their was a relationship breakup, and I had two big health issues...




I'm in a 12-Step Program and I dealt with all of these things one at a time, one day at a time, and in a 'this too shall pass,' kind of way. When I was having bad days, my sponsor told me to get out of my head and go help someone else. Good advice. I reached out to an old sponsee I had not heard from in a bit, usually not good news on his sobriety, to check in. Maybe I could help. He'd not picked up on calls or answered texts, so after a week, I went to his house.

Girlfriend at door, "Oh, you hadn't heard?"

This was November, and I'd worked through it, with the Holidays zooming toward me, but I was hurting, so when it was time to do the "End of Year Review," of 2022, it all mushroomed. I made a decision, and after being found, and upon finding myself at Faulkner Hospital, I talked myself and everyone else out of staying there, after all, it was December 23. Could I have used the care there?



I received a lot of support from friends, who got me through the first month, along with some mental health care (therapy and all the rest) and then after six months of progressive improvement, looked better. I recommend if you are feeling the way I was, to do THIS

Fast forward to Christmas Day, 2023---it's been a good year. It's been a really good year.

My son got married, and I went to two other wonderful weddings---nephew in San Diego, and also with one of my best friends in Massachusetts.

I'm playing music again and playing out for the first time in over 30 years with an extremely talented woman, whose friendship cannot be measured. I can say without lying, we sound pretty good. I'm finding joy in that.

My brother and his family moved about an hour-and-a-half away from me, which is much nicer than six-and-a-half, and spending time there makes the Holidays really special.

My publisher also put out an anthology of my greatest writing hits, Best of Timothy Gager---and that sold really well upon release.

I am full of gratitude, today, Christmas, and it did pass. I'm still an addict, it didn't pass IMMEDIATELY, which was what I felt I needed, but I'm here, I'm happy, I'm alive.


If you or someone you love is feeling suicidal, there is HOPE and HELP


TIMOTHY GAGER has published 18 books of fiction and poetry, which includes his latest novel, Joe the Salamander. He hosted the successful Dire Literary Series in Cambridge, MA from 2001 to 2018, and started a weekly virtual series in 2020. He has had over 1000 works of fiction and poetry published, 17 nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His work also has been nominated for a Massachusetts Book Award, The Best of the Web, The Best Small Fictions Anthology and has been read on National Public Radio. In 2023, Big Table Publishing published an anthology of twenty years of his selected work, with 150 pages of new material: The Best of Timothy Gager. He was the Fiction Editor of The Wilderness House Literary Review, and the founding co-editor of The Heat City Literary Review. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Timothy lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.


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