It's November and retailers are busy "decking the halls" with holiday decorations and gift ideas. While planning upcoming family gatherings, battling crowded shopping malls, and attending holiday social events, it is not a joyous time for some people. It can be an extremely stressful season for a loved one in recovery from an addiction.
For those in recovery, Serenity Lane recommends planning for the holidays well in advance to help avoid relapse.
People, Places or Things
- Avoid your personal triggers. If certain people may trigger any anger or negative emotion, avoid that interaction.
- Avoid people who use.
- Avoid your old places, such as bars or clubs.
- Avoid things that create temptation.
First Holiday Sober
Those loved ones about to experience a first holiday season of sobriety may be especially dreading this time with family and friends. Discuss this with your:
- 12 step sponsor
- Or in group meetings.
- Those with a longer period of sobriety may be a good sounding board for you.
If holiday parties and gatherings are going to place you in an environment with drugs and alcohol, it's okay to decline the party invitation or leave a party early.
Make Recovery a Priority
Take care of yourself by:
- Eating right
- Continuing to exercise
- Attending group meetings
- Staying in touch with your sponsor.
Use the Holiday Season
Remind yourself of the gifts you have been given in life (gratitude), while looking for opportunities to help others (service work).