For the most part, from the end of October to January 1st is a long season of goodwill, harmony and joy. For a lot of people, though, this time of year can be brutal. Finances can be tight, the days short, and if you’re unlucky enough to have a conflict-ridden family, the holidays are almost always chock full of drama and stress. Whether it’s you and your mother disagreeing about your job as always, or your brother showing off that sets your teeth on edge, it’s no surprise that many people turn to drugs and alcohol during the holidays. Alcohol especially is common, with many people feeling that they need to be ‘buzzed’ in order to get through another holiday season with family. Holidays is no exception to this rule, especially since it usually involves a large meal with family members you may not have seen for a while.
If you’re in the early stages of sobriety and coming up on your first Thanksgiving sober, there are a few easy things you can do to keep the negativity to a minimum for yourself.
- Remember that you can only control yourself – You can’t change the actions, statements or behaviors of others, only yourself. Learning to let it go will keep you from pulling your hair out.
- Focus on the positive – Even if the people around you are working hard at being negative Nancy-s, don’t let them drag you down. Focus on the positive; you’re together.
- Get involved – Don’t just sit on the couch and listen to the chaos around you. Getting in the kitchen to help or playing a game with family can help distract you from any tension.
- Don’t judge – Everyone has their own struggles and their own battles in their own lives, many of which you know nothing about, and vice versa.
It’s common to feel a little uneasy as you approach your first holiday sober, and it’s important that you have support set up, even if it’s just a friend you know you can text if you start to feel uneasy. You can even check to see if there are any addiction recovery meetings in the area that you could attend if you really need it. The most important thing, however, is to approach it with a good attitude and focus on the good, rather than thinking about the drama that may or may not happen.
Any of the holidays throughout the year can cause anxiety. If you’re currently struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, The Springboard Center can help guide you back to a sober life. If you or a loved one is ready to get clean and start living again, call today: 432-620-0255.