The holidays can be the best of times, but they can also cause a lot of stress for an individual considering checking themselves into a rehabilitation facility. People addicted to substances can particularly feel the ups and downs as the holidays can bring up triggers for addicts and alcoholics, especially those new to recovery, which can lead to relapse.
Being around family and friends can cause anxiety, feelings of guilt, or repeated dysfunctional behaviors.
Even when you’re really healthy or have long term recovery can also be challenging. Why? Because it’s often the case that an addict isn’t the only one in the family with the disease, and being around others in a dysfunctional setting can cause additional harm.
How Do You Navigate the Waters During the High Celebratory Season?
Give yourself permission to avoid the obligatory dinner, or set rules for yourself and only attend it for a short period, and have a plan B with sober friends.
There are 12-step meetings originating from Alcoholics Anonymous in almost every city in the US and throughout the world, as there are Al-Anon groups which help deal family members of addicts. They usually provide meetings around the clock throughout the holidays because they know it’s a time for heightened emotions and anxiety.
Take responsibility for your own actions. If you’re ready to go into a rehabilitation facility, please don’t wait until January 1st and have that “last hurrah.”
Know your limitations. If you can’t be around Uncle Joe for more than 20 minutes, then don’t. Take care of yourself, be honest, and ask yourself why you feel obligated to stay when the rest of the family is getting hammered.
Don’t get roped in. A lot of times families play out the same myth at every holiday. We may laugh later about the 15th fight over the turkey carving fiasco or the fruitcake throwing, when in reality it was an uncomfortable experience for everyone.
What’s the Best Solution to Get Out?
The easiest way involves providing a valuable service to others.
One of the most positive actions to stabilize yourself is to help others. Feed the homeless, volunteer at a non-profit, or help a friend. It also puts us with others and takes us out of isolation so we don’t feel lonely, and it helps us avoid feeling obligated to drink and party around unhealthy people.
You don’t have to avoid the holidays if they bring up negative feelings and thoughts. You can change your actions and recreate a new you during this time to help in your recovery from addiction.
If you have any questions about the treatment options and programs at our rehabilitation facility, feel free to call us at 888-417-7821.