A Trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge, New Christmas Memories

Over a year ago if the Ghost of Christmas future had visited me and told me that if I continued to drink I would sink further into a destructive spiral, finally landing in British Columbia, I would have said, “Hum Bug…” My real response would have used much more colorful language.

Let’s face it, the holidays can be tough even if you are not in treatment.

Seasonal depression, binge drinking, and family feuds are all strange realities absent from the holiday Hallmark cards. For many recovering addicts, the holiday season ushers in anxiety, sadness, and crippling loneliness. Currently I am 3,780 kilometers, 2,349 miles, or a very long flight, from my home and family in Virginia. Therefore, it is extremely important to be surrounded by positive people and good vibes, and to not let the holiday blues steep for too long.

For all those miserable scrooges out there, I am here to tell you of a special place that can cure those holiday blues. The cure, surprisingly enough, is not your psychiatrist’s office, a bar, or a pharmacy. It is a place where you can walk amongst the rainforest canopy bathed in the glow of crisp electric light.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is truly a treasure for anyone looking for a little Christmas cheer.

I felt like an ant among the giant trees. Wickedly tall trees showered in lights were stretched out to the heavens. The suspension bridge hovered precariously across the dimly lit gorge. The faint sounds of live Christmas music moved through the air like the gusts of chilly wind whipping through the rocky cliffs.

Every breath I took reinvigorated my spirit, and for a short while, as I walked the old growth forest, I forgot that I was in a 2 year treatment center. I forgot that just under a year and a half ago, I was in a living purgatory suffering from pancreatitis and recovering from gallbladder surgery due to years of chronic heavy drinking. Now, I was standing in another country at night in a beautiful rainforest decorated with thousands of Christmas lights shining like diamonds. The hard memories of last Christmas were now long gone and I was quickly making new ones.

It is still not easy being away from your loved ones and your home but I have realized that home is a state of mind. I can be happy anywhere, just like how I can be miserable anywhere. Home is where you are happy and happiness is best shared with others. I am truly a rich man to be able to have these luxuries this Christmas.

-J