Addiction Recovery and the Holidays Part 2
Loneliness is hard on everyone. It is especially hard during the holidays. For someone in addiction recovery, loneliness can be the trigger that causes a relapse. It is essential for anyone in recovery to manage this feeling more aggressively during the holidays than during other times of the year.
Fill Your Time
The most important thing to remember is that you are not the only person who feels lonely at this time of year. It may feel as if you are all alone in the world, but many people are feeling the same way. Connecting with these people can enrich your life and help you overcome loneliness.
Find a way to donate some of your time to a good cause. Visit a senior center and listen to stories or brighten their day with holiday songs or crafts or just someone to talk to for a while. Seniors have so much to offer if someone will take the time.
Offer to spend time at a children’s home or a homeless shelter so that you can bring some holiday joy to someone in need. Make friends and be supportive of each other. It will be a heartwarming experience.
Donate some of your time to an animal shelter so that the animals are cared for during the holidays. Help serve food at a shelter or find a way to visit a pediatric hospital floor to bring happiness to children. You can find many opportunities on the Internet or with local groups that can help you fill your time and bring joy to yourself and others.
Loneliness is one of the strongest emotions that we have, and at times it can be overwhelming. If you find yourself feeling depressed and lonely, and volunteering is not your thing, you must make sure you have a support system.
During drug rehab, you were probably introduced to many different support groups or types of therapy available for anyone in recovery. Your substance abuse counselor has probably encouraged you to join one or more of these programs for support. If you have not joined a group or stopped going, now is the time to rejoin.
Having a group of people, you can be with, even if you are not close friends, will relieve you from feeling lonely. It will also provide you with the emotional support you need to get through the holidays. It is important to remember that most, if not all, of the people in these groups are experiencing the same thing you are at this time.
Give Yourself Credit Where Credit Is Due
You have faced many challenges, and you have succeeded. You have overcome addiction by going to drug rehab and completing the program. You have left the addiction recovery center as a person in control of their life, and you have been successful at staying sober and building a brighter future for yourself. Even if you have had a previous relapse, you have reclaimed your sobriety, and you are in control of your life.
Take a moment and give yourself credit for these enormous accomplishments. Everything you have achieved is amazingly positive, and you deserve to feel the happiness of your success.
This positive feeling can help you overcome the loneliness of the holidays. Maybe it is time to explore that new hobby that you have been curious about. Take a vacation that you always wanted to take or complete your long list of chores before the new year so you can start a fresh new year moving forward.
A large part of overcoming loneliness is knowing how to fill the time. When you were using alcohol or drugs, these things stole your time, and you never had to worry about filling in any gaps. Now that you are sober, it is important to learn how to fill the time not to become too much to handle.
The final thing to remember is that the holiday season will pass and a new year will begin. This is always exciting, and a new year of sobriety brings great hope and happiness.
You can overcome this emotion and move forward. You believed in yourself enough to go to rehab and get help; you need to believe that you can overcome this feeling.
Please read our previous article Addiction Recovery And The Holidays Part 1 – Family And Friends.