Holidays are often particularly difficult for people in recovery from addiction.
Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, in particular, have long been considered the Bermuda Triangle of addiction, where drugs, alcohol and family issues often intersect in what’s described as a “perfect storm.”
For many in recovery, the holidays can bring intense pressure to feel good, look terrific, be in a perfect relationship and be generally jolly when in fact things may not be so good.
If you’re someone in recovery – or have a loved one in that position, there are things that can be done to help make the holiday season safe and more enjoyable.
Here are ten tips you may find helpful:
For those in recovery
- Plan ahead. Remaining sober is your top priority. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries or tell family: “It is really not good for me to be here.”
- Seek out healthy alternatives. A sober party may be a better choice than a party with family where alcohol or drugs may be present.
- Stay in touch with your support network before, during and after a family gathering.
- Bring sober support in the form of a sponsor or friend in recovery to social events.
- It’s ok to just make an appearance and then leave a party early. Remember – it’s ok to do what’s best to support your recovery.
- Stay connected to those in recovery. Remind them you love them and offer support. Never avoid a family member in recovery. Isolation makes their struggle far worse.
- Never pressure a loved one to attend a get together they may find uncomfortable. And don’t hover nervously over them if they do attend.
- Offer advice only when requested.
- Avoid making alcohol a centerpiece of your party even if their drug of choice was something else.
- It’s healthy to set boundaries. If a loved one is still using – it’s ok to tell them they are welcome only if they are sober.
If you are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and need help in Connecticut or New Hampshire, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. Our unique model of care is giving clients a six-times better chance of sustained recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. To learn more or to talk to one of our Recovery Specialists, visit www.awarerecoverycare.com.