Thanksgiving is, for the most part, a pretty enjoyable holiday. What’s not to love about a holiday that lets you eat large amounts of delicious, homemade food and spend time with family and friends? Well, when you’re living a sober life, it can actually be pretty overwhelming. From being around family that you may not always get along with to gatherings that have alcohol, there’s any number of ways that Christmas can trigger cravings or even a relapse. Fear not! There’s still hope! If you plan ahead and work to prepare yourself a little bit before the day arrives, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the holiday just as well as the others.
Remember that your sobriety is worth it, even if you feel incredibly stressed out in the middle of a heated argument between family members. It’s worth not turning to alcohol as a way to cope, and it’s worth resisting cravings that pop up when you least expect it. It’s especially worth it for Christmas, because your family is worth it. Whether you have a steady relationship with your family or not, they’re still your family, and it’s worth living a sober life for you, and for them. So if absolutely nothing else works, tell yourself this repeatedly, out loud if you have to.
Be willing to step away from a situation as well. If you’re all sitting around chatting away, and someone brings up something that could trigger you, or someone begins to drink, be willing to make a mad dash to the yard to play football or to the kitchen to help with cookies. IF you can step away and busy yourself whenever you feel you may be triggered to use, by the time you’re done with whatever you busy yourself with, the craving will have subsided, or the subject of conversation may have changed.
Most of all, be willing to stand up for yourself. If your family is truly unwilling to respect your sobriety and avoid excessive alcohol at the celebration, you have every right to politely decline or leave early. Make sure you don’t do this in anger, but stand firm in your principals. Your sobriety has been hard fought, don’t let the holiday knock you back!
Taking time to enjoy the holidays is important, but if you’re still struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or have relapsed, it’s time to choose life, and work to better your future. Spend time on your treatment so that you can enjoy these holidays with a clear, sober mind that lets you truly appreciate them. The Springboard Center is ready to help you, all you have to do is pick up the phone. Don’t be controlled by addiction for one more day. Call 432-620-0255.