The holiday season can be a trigger for several former addicts…
Rather it is the stress of it all, the emotions of being surrounded by family again, or maybe the fact that everyone around you is drinking. Regardless, it can be a time where most former addicts find it hard to enjoy themselves.
As someone on the outside looking in, keep in mind:
Family gatherings can be daunting for someone who has battled addiction. After letting your family down and maybe not seeing some of them for an extended period of time, it can be hard to be reintroduced to their company.
In addition to the family gatherings being overwhelming, parties, where alcohol is introduced, can be tempting. Although they might have said they were okay with everyone drinking, an addict will simply never escape the urge to drink. It is something that will haunt them forever.
Also, keep in mind, the re-introduction of emotions that come with family and holidays can be stressful. They might find that running around from house to house, seeing tons of people, and being asked questions can be stressful which can also lead an addict to want to drink or use again.
Just be mindful of how they might be feeling in all situations.
Now, from the standpoint of an addict, here are some tips to help you learn how to enjoy the holiday season this year:
- Be careful about the events you attend. While it is great to attend as many events as you want and get involved with those around your regularly, or maybe even just for the first time in awhile, it can also present an atmosphere that is not conducive for sobriety – such as a cocktail party.
If the party is centered around alcohol or will have alcohol and you do not feel comfortable or confident in your ability to avoid it, it might be best that you sit that party out.
- Have a backup plan.Success always starts with a backup plan. You might show up at a party and find you are stressed and emotional or you might show up and find they have alcohol you were unaware of.
Regardless of the situation, have a backup plan in mind so that you are prepared for success, not a failure.
- Keep in touch with your recovery community.You are not the only one experiencing these emotions during the holiday season. Keep in touch with your counselor and your support groups as they can help calm your nerves and offer valuable insight and suggestions.
It boils down to being prepared for the worst and seeking help when necessary. You can do this!