Recovering from drug or alcohol abuse is difficult, no matter what time of the year it is. However, the holidays can be an extremely difficult time for a recovering addict. Holiday festivities encompass many get-togethers and parties, which usually involve alcohol.
Substance abuse tends to be driven by emotional pain, stress, and anxiety. Holidays can be a very emotional time for people. They can also be a time when recovering addicts are left remembering a lost loved one or a past relationship. The sadness they feel can be a trigger that makes them want to use.
As an addict, it is important that you don’t risk falling victim to relapse during an extremely busy and stressful time.
Staying in Control
Here at Turning Point Recovery Center, we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season and take comfort in being with loved ones. That’s why we want to outline a few tips that you can use when the holiday season becomes too much. Remember, your sobriety is much more valuable than “fitting in” with the partygoers this season!
Tips to keep your sobriety a priority!
Remember self-care: During holiday parties, keep yourself occupied with positive activities; they can help keep your mind off using drugs and alcohol. The holiday season is a perfect time to become involved with local charities! They are always in need of the extra help during the holidays.
Be selective and choosy: If you are sure that a certain party will have alcohol, and you are not sure if you can handle the pressure, skip it. It’s better to remain in control; feel comfortable with the decision to abstain from something that can trigger a relapse.
Bring a crowd: Surrounding yourself with other recovering addicts will help ensure that you won’t relapse. A support system is crucial.
Avoid triggers: Avoid any situation that will make you feel like you want to use. If seeing certain individuals makes you unbearably sad or angry, it’s probably best to avoid any interaction with them. Always remain aware of the situation and of people who may become triggers.
Have an exit strategy: Always have a backup plan. Make a plan ahead of time for an easy exit in case the pressure or temptation becomes too much. Park where you can’t be blocked in, and have a long-term sober friend on alert in case you need immediate support.
Take care of yourself: Bring your favorite refreshing non-alcoholic drink to sip on during the party. Having a drink in your hand helps prevent others from bombarding you with alcoholic drinks and eliminates the barrage of questions as to why you’re not drinking.
Pay attention to cravings: When you encounter a strong craving or the urge to use, eat or drink something sweet. Alcohol is simple sugar and sugar satisfies the part of our brains that triggers the need to abuse.
Together, We Can All Survive This Holiday Season!
The holidays are an especially stressful and difficult time for everyone, but especially trying for an addict in recovery. Remember to take care of you, emotionally and mentally. Rely on those who are long-term recovering addicts for support and advice. They’ve been in your shoes; they’ve dealt with your fears. They will be your biggest advocates in your recovery process and making it through this holiday season sober.
As always, we are here for help and support!