“Holidays are tough for addicts who are trying to stay clean. The holidays only amplify the temptations and triggers in your life.”
This is a sentence from ‘How To Return Home: A Survivor’s Guide.’
Understanding Holiday Stress
For many people, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration. But for others, the holiday season can be a stressful and difficult time. If you are in recovery from addiction, you may find that the holidays are especially challenging and hard for recovering addicts.
There are a number of reasons why the holidays can be hard for recovering addicts.
- First of all, there is the pressure to party and drink alcohol. This can be difficult to resist, especially if you are surrounded by friends and family who are drinking.
- Secondly, the holidays can be a reminder of past mistakes and bad decisions. If you have relapsed in the past, or if you are currently struggling with your sobriety, the holidays can trigger negative emotions and memories.
- Finally, the holiday season is often a time when people feel lonely and isolated. If you don’t have close friends or family members who understand your recovery journey, it can be easy to feel alone during this time of year.
If you are struggling with holiday stress, there are a few things you can do to cope:
- Reach out to your support network. Talking to someone who understands what you’re going through can be helpful. Whether it’s a friend, therapist, sponsor, or online support group, talking to others in recovery can remind you that you’re not alone.
- Avoid triggering situations. If being around drinkers makes you feel uncomfortable or tempted to relapse, it’s OK to say “no thank you” or even “I don’t want thanks”.
Choosing Rehab over the Holidays
The holidays are a difficult time for anyone in recovery and particularly hard for recovering addicts, but choosing to go to rehab during this time can be an incredibly hard decision. For many people, the holidays are a time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. This can be a trigger for those in recovery, who may feel like they are missing out on something by being in treatment. It is important to remember that sobriety is the most important thing during the holidays, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy this time without alcohol or drugs.
Here are a few tips for choosing rehab over the holidays:
- Talk to your family and friends about your decision to go to rehab. They will be supportive and understanding as its hard for recovering addicts, especially if you explain why this is important for your sobriety.
- Remember that you are not missing out on anything by being in treatment. In fact, you are taking care of yourself and ensuring that you have a happy and sober holiday season.
- It’s hard for recovering addicts to think about all of the positive things that will come from completing treatment, such as being able to spend next year’s holiday season with your loved ones without worrying about relapse.
- Talk to your therapist or sponsor about your feelings and concerns regarding treatment during the holidays. They will be able to offer support and guidance throughout this difficult time.
Finding Comfort in Friendships
As someone in recovery, it’s hard for recovering addicts and the holidays can be a difficult time. There are all sorts of triggers that can come up, from family gatherings to office parties. And then there’s the pressure to drink or use drugs, which can be overwhelming.
But there is one thing that can help get you through the holidays: friendships. Lean on your friends for support and comfort. They can help you stay focused on your recovery and avoid temptation. So if you’re feeling stressed or triggers are starting to surface, reach out to your friends. They’ll be there to help you through it.
Coping with Triggers
For recovering addicts, the holidays can be a trigger-filled minefield. From parties and gatherings where alcohol is flowing to stressful family situations it’s hard for recovering addicts, and the feeling of being left out when everyone else is indulging, there are plenty of reasons why the holidays can be tough for those in recovery.
It’s hard for recovering addicts but it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom
there are ways to cope with triggers and make the most of the holiday season. Here are some tips:
- Plan ahead and make a list of potential triggers. This could include things like being around people who are drinking, attending parties or events where there will be alcohol or any other situations that you know might tempt you to drink or use drugs. Knowing what your triggers are ahead of time will help you avoid them or at least be prepared to deal with them if they do come up.
- Have an exit strategy. If you find yourself in a situation that is starting to become too much, have a plan for how you’ll get out of it. This could mean leaving the party early, going outside for some fresh air, or calling a friend or sponsor to talk you through it.
- Stay busy and distracted. Keep your mind occupied by staying busy – socialize with other sober people, participate in holiday activities, volunteer your time, etc. And if you start to feel cravings coming on, it’s hard for recovering addicts but distract yourself with something else – go for a walk, watch a movie, read a
If you’re struggling with addiction and desire help, First Step can provide resources and treatment for your needs. If you feel like you have nowhere left to turn, know that hope is always there for you.
Don’t wait—seek professional support from First Step, and get started on your journey toward a happy and healthy life.