Navigating Early Recovery During the Holidays

By February 17, 2023 Sober living No Comments

Thus, in addition to those in recovery, it is likely that most Americans know someone who struggles with their use of alcohol or other drugs. However, just because these emotions can be too much to handle, they are not excuses to rationalize a slip. The disease of addiction doesn’t make exceptions for the holidays. And if you are not in recovery, but you are at an office party and someone declines an offer of an alcoholic beverage, please accept that as the most reasonable choice in the world and move on. If it makes you uncomfortable that they aren’t drinking, you may wish to reflect upon your own relationship to alcohol. In addition to the issue of freely available alcohol, many find resentments, conflicts, hostility, guilt, and triggers lurking just below the superficial holiday cheer.

  • Please click here to learn more about starting a Family & Friends meeting.
  • Mike crafted our innovative and person centred approach to addiction treatment.
  • 84% of people report feeling moderate to overwhelming holiday stress.
  • Mental health struggles are another reason for the increased risk of relapse during the holidays.

The first obstacle that often comes up is the holiday office party. I’ve worked with many people in recovery who tell me that coworkers can look at them as if they have a third eye, or as if they have just sprouted wings, if they decline an alcoholic beverage. Many have trouble just being around alcohol, not to mention the unchecked inebriation that can occur at these parties. High-risk situations during the holidays include get-togethers that involve freely flowing alcohol or deep family dysfunction.

Refer a loved one

In line with this, don’t forget to check in on your brothers and sisters in recovery during the holiday season. It’s easy enough to pick up the phone, and you will find yourself feeling better as well. It will take time, and there are a number of ways families can stay supportive and involved while also taking care of themselves. After a loved one starts treatment, there can be relief and renewed hope, but expectations may need to be grounded as changes don’t happen overnight. All members of the family may have the same idealized wish to recover the trust and lives that existed prior to the escalation of addictive behaviors.

If you are in early recovery, you might think that celebrating the holidays is going to look quite different than in recent years. Attending alcohol or drug rehab means you are already aware that relapse is something you must always guard against. Another aspect of an effective relapse prevention plan for the holidays acknowledges an individual’s engagement in continuing treatment.

How to Regain Trust in a Relationship After Addiction

Holidays during a pandemic are a new challenge that affect our ability to gather in person and feel connected. Lastly, individuals in recovery must address sober networking opportunities to protect their sobriety throughout the holidays. In addition to support groups, there are likely a plethora of sober holiday events and gatherings taking place in communities across the United States. Social networking during treatment and recovery is valuable because social support helps to prevent relapse. Additionally, social support can help individuals feel less alone in their sobriety journey, especially for those without family support.

On a broader level, the family of the person in recovery has directly and indirectly been affected by addiction and may share all of the desperation with none of the control. As individuals begin the process of recovery, they pass through multiple stages of recognizing needs and making changes in their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, patterns of self-care and healing. It is never a one-size-fits-all process, but more often than not, family members provide links for rebuilding their loves one’s lives.

We’re here for you 24/7, even on holidays.

It may help to ask a loved one how they will feel if others are drinking alcohol and explore ways to have an alcohol-free event. If a loved one says they don’t feel comfortable coming to a gathering with alcohol, that can be honored. Early recovery from substance use disorders brings up a number of new challenges.

While statistics about relapse during the holiday season are difficult to find, correlational studies do suggest that this time of year, in particular, can take an emotional toll on those struggling with addiction. For individuals in recovery, it is not enough to enter the holiday season without having any preparations in place for staying sober. In other words, it is vital for individuals to create a framework that identifies guidelines and expectations that they can use to protect their sobriety. Accept that You Cannot Control Them or Their Recovery – Even with the best plans and intentions, people relapse.

Understanding the Challenges of the Holiday Season in Early Recovery:

The following will provide some tips for maintaining recovery over the holidays, whether you’re in active treatment or long-term recovery. When families are engaged in the process of recovery, the outcomes improve significantly. When all members of the family readjust and reframing holidays in early recovery reconnect in healthy ways, the odds of the loved one in recovery maintaining gains will improve. Family members share loyalty, common experiences, love and genuine care. When one member of the system is suffering from a disease, it can affect everyone in the family.

  • The goal for families is to think of ways their relationships with one another have been affected by addiction, validate feelings and find ways to repair disconnections as a result of compulsive substance use.
  • Use your judgement – you don’t have to tell everyone at the party.
  • All the gifts, extra bills, and hustle and bustle of crowded shops can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.
  • Drug addiction recovery and recovery from alcoholism can be difficult, so be sure you remember to take pride in your perseverance to stay clean, to turn your life around.

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