Individuals working a program of recovery can benefit significantly from having a strategy for the holidays. While most people look forward to days like Christmas, that is not always the case for those in addiction recovery. Men and women working a program must avoid stressful situations. Unfortunately, the holiday season is often accompanied by negative emotions and uncomfortable situations that can derail one’s progress. It is vital that recovering addicts and alcoholics have a plan for navigating Christmas without resorting to drug and alcohol use.
Men and women in their first year of addiction recovery are about to experience their first sober Christmas. It is possible for such people to get through the day with more than just a whole program, a successful outcome (relapse-free) can actually strengthen one’s recovery. No matter what you plan to do on December 25th, formulating a plan emphasizing the importance of your program, will help. Those who remember that – no matter what – recovery comes first; will be able to get to the far side of Christmas without incident.
The purpose of this post is to discuss some areas for people in recovery to focus on as they finalize their Christmas itinerary. Those who attend meetings every day, engage with their support network or sponsor, and continually keep self-will in check, are already in position to get through the holiday without incident. There is no reason to stop doing such things on noteworthy days of the year.
Addiction Recovery Through The Holidays
Attending recovery meetings during major holidays is especially conducive to maintaining sobriety. Even if a person is required to participate in a family gathering, there should be plenty of opportunities to get to a meeting. It isn’t uncommon for people in recovery to attend multiple meetings over Christmas. At various recovery houses in practically every area, meetings are held around the clock during difficult days of the year.
If you are going to be around family this Christmas, then a good practice is going to a meeting before and after the event. The former prepares you for the engagement, the latter helps one decompress and deal with any compromising emotions that arose when in the company of family.
Those who, for whatever reason, absolutely cannot make a meeting should be in regular contact with a sponsor or someone in your recovery circle. Always remember, if an event becomes too stressful or uncomfortable for whatever reason, there is no shame in departing early and going to a meeting for support. Being around stress-inducing people, places or things is inevitable at times; stress is a common trigger; and, having a plan for responding to triggers in healthy ways is vital.
Always be mindful of your limitations, especially in early addiction recovery. Addicts and alcoholics are apt to bite off more than they can chew sometimes. Be sure to discuss your holiday plan with another member of the program before deciding to move forward with it this Christmas. Having open and honest communication with your support network is a crucial component to keeping your recovery strong during difficult days of the year.
Recovering Over The Holidays
Some people may find that this time of the year is ideal for beginning the process of recovery. If you are powerless over drugs and alcohol and are ready to take steps to heal, please contact Pacific Shores Recovery. You can call 949.239.7045 to get in touch with our friendly, professional staff.