The holidays can be fun with family celebrations and parties. It’s a time for letting your hair down unless you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. There are over 20 million people with a substance use disorder, and for many of them, Christmas isn’t much fun.
Has the holiday period derailed your recovery? You need some help. Read on and learn how to take back control of your life now.
Holiday periods such as Christmas are especially difficult if you are recovering from substance abuse. While everybody around you seems to be having fun, you are struggling with many of the triggers that make a relapse a very real possibility.
Part of your recovery has probably been about establishing good habits. These are routines that make a healthy lifestyle easier to follow. Christmas disrupts these routines and undermines your good habits.
Christmas is about time off work, travel to visit friends and family, and changes to eating and social patterns. All of these can be disruptive to your sobriety. On top of this, your regular attendance at support meetings may be disrupted, too, undermining one of your key sources of encouragement.
The holidays can be an opportunity for people to spend more time with family members. This can be nice, but it can also be a source of stress and anxiety. Expectations can be high, strained family relationships, and what can feel like forced time together isn’t good for everybody.
If you have a history of substance abuse, this may have affected family members and your relationships in the past. You and they can have feelings of shame, guilt, or even anger triggered by time together.
Christmas parties are difficult if you are recovering from drug abuse or alcohol use disorder. You may find yourself in the company of people who encourage you to relapse. At the very least, alcohol and drugs may be present at parties, and you may be tempted to relapse.
Rehabilitation or recovery from drug or alcohol abuse can be an uphill struggle. Triggers that may be plentiful at Christmas time can make it tougher still.
It’s important to be realistic. Your commitment to recovery can’t take a holiday just because it’s Christmas time. You need to be honest with yourself to assess whether you have got off track.
Not Too Late
If you have found it difficult but have managed to stay clean, that’s great. If you’ve got off track, it’s not too late to get back on track.
Reduce the triggers you face by planning the next few weeks. Don’t place yourself in the way of temptation. Avoid high-risk scenarios, and you can get back on track.
Find drug and alcohol-free ways of distracting yourself. Re-establish healthy living routines and prioritize a positive lifestyle.
Sometimes a friend can be a useful support. Make plans with them so they can help you find the strength to stay sober.
Join or return to a support group. They may be able to offer extra help given the challenges of the holiday season. Seek professional rehabilitation help if needed.
Take Back Control After the Holidays
Christmas can be a tough time for you. Whether you’ve stayed sober or experienced a relapse, this is a good time to take back control. It’s time to return to a healthy lifestyle.
Talk to us about your recovery needs by making contact here.