Everyday life when you’re trying to stay sober after alcoholism can already be hard, but when it’s the holidays, everything seems to compound, especially stress. The holidays are one of the hardest times for alcoholics in recovery because a large majority of holiday gatherings and parties involve alcohol, even simple family get togethers. All of the holiday stress on top of your regular daily stressors, coupled with easy access to alcoholic beverages like punch and eggnog, are a ticking time bomb for some people. The possibility of being so stressed out that you’re likely to turn back to alcohol may be unlikely, but the risk of relapse for recovering alcoholics is significantly higher during the holidays, whether it’s from stress, peer pressure, or ‘just one’ to get in the holiday spirit.
Alcohol, even any used to cook a meal, can trigger a relapse if you taste it, so when in doubt, ask what’s in a dish or drink. If you’re worried about offending someone by not taking someone, remember that your sobriety is what you’ve worked for, and it’s not worth throwing it aside, even at the risk of offending someone. If your family really can’t respect your needs or wishes during the holidays, consider celebrating with other friends in recovery or loved ones who really get it. It’s important no matter how you decide to spend your holidays to have a plan in place to help you deal with cravings. Whether you’ve been in recovery for a month or thirty years, they can pop up at the worst possible times. One idea that may help with this is to be involved in something. This could be family activities like board games or decorating holiday cookies to going sledding or getting some fresh air together. When you’re focused on something else, you’re less likely to notice the cravings as strongly.
The best way you can avoid alcoholism relapse during the holidays is to focus on the people around you and the feelings you all share for one another. Family and friends are one of the many reasons this season is generally a happy one, so focus on your loved ones and the positive things in your life, and you’ll have far less time to think about whether or not you should have a drink.
Whether you’re just starting out in sobriety or you’ve been sober for decades, it’s okay to need a little extra help now and then, and The Springboard Center can help, whether you need to revisit an inpatient program or add an outpatient program to your schedule. No one experiences recovery in the same way, so make sure you find the right treatment program for you. If you’re struggling, don’t hesitate. Call today: 432-620-0255 and let us help.