For the most part, we all love the holidays. From the atmosphere to the cooler weather and from the great food to even better family and friends, it’s an overall upbeat time of year, and a time to reflect on the time gone by. Whether you’re two months into sobriety or two decades have gone by since you made the decision to retake your life, this joyous time of year can also be tricky for a multitude of reasons. A lot of holiday parties involve alcohol, and while this is generally a season of good-will, it can also be a time of hard memories and tension within family members or even between friends. This can stir up tricky feelings, especially if any of these issues had previously attributed to drug or alcohol addiction in the past, but fret not! There’s hope!
The holidays can be filled with crazy family and let-down expectations that can leave you feeling blue, and that negativity can be a threat to your recovery. The first thing you should remember is that your sobriety is YOUR choice. You worked for it and earned it, and it’s in your hands each day whether or not you continue in it. It also helps to remember that sobriety doesn’t mean life is perfect. The same issues or conflicts you may have had with friends or family while battling addiction will still be there, you just have no unhealthy crutch to try and deal with it this year. There will always be some sort of unpleasantness or something that makes you uncomfortable, and the sooner you can accept that, the smoother your holiday season will go.
If your family, friends or work associates tend to celebrate the holidays by getting together, sitting around and drinking, try to plan or participate in activities that don’t involve just sitting and chatting. Suggest a movie, holiday concerts or even sledding, anything that keeps you busy, even if you can’t go out, try decorating holiday cookies or play board games. Limit the time you spend around the people who make you the most crazy if you can, as well, especially if that person may be a trigger, like your uncle who doesn’t put the bottle down all of Thanksgiving. Stay busy, and you’ll find that it’s much easier to keep a handle on your recovery.
Recovery doesn’t mean you’ll never need help for your addiction again. If the holidays are feeling overwhelming and you’re worried you’re at risk for a relapse, get help before you make the wrong choice. The Springboard Center is here to help you during the holidays and every other day of the year, providing the rehabilitation and treatment you need to recover. Call today: 432-620-0255.