Addiction Recovery And The Holidays Part 1

Friends & Family

The holidays are often tough for someone recovering from an addiction, especially if they have newly entered into recovery. The holidays present several issues that must be carefully managed so that a person in recovery can remain that way.

The first issue that should be looked at is interactions with family and friends during the holiday season. Loved ones and friends can make being in recovery an awkward situation, even though it is not intentional. Preparing for this awkwardness can help with the situation.

Scenario 1– Your friends or relatives know that you have just come out of a substance recovery program, so they are “tip-toeing” around the subject to make you not feel uncomfortable. The truth is, it is making you feel uncomfortable. A fabulous solution to this scenario is to embrace your recovery and start a conversation about your drug rehab experience. Let others know that you are comfortable with yourself so that they can feel comfortable as well.

Scenario 2 – Your friends or family are not supportive of your recent stay in drug rehab. This can happen for many reasons. Some people feel threatened when another person takes control of their life, making them feel insecure about their own personal choices. Your substance abuse counselor will have given you ample information on how to handle these situations. It may be a little difficult, but you have overcome so much already; you will overcome this as well.

Scenario 3 – The tempters. There is a type of person who, for whatever reason, finds it necessary to harass a person who has just left an addiction recovery center by trying to get them to partake in drugs or alcohol. “Just one to celebrate” or “you can get back to being sober tomorrow” are common phrases that they use. This can place you in a very uncomfortable situation because you do not want to be rude, but you do not want to partake in the substance either. The best situation is to move to other people at the gathering to talk with or call it an early night if the situation is too harassing.

Scenario 4 – Fear to face family and friends. After entering into recovery, it can be a little scary to go to your first family gathering. You may feel embarrassed or scared because you were just in drug rehab. Do not let this prevent you from going. Your loved ones have invited you to their holiday gatherings because they want you there. Part of drug rehab is learning that you are entitled to a new and better life without substance abuse. Take advantage of this new life and embrace your loved ones for the holidays. You will be happy that you decided to go.

Addiction Recovery Is An Ongoing Process

It did not take a single day to become addicted to a substance. It will not take a single day to recover from that addiction. Recovery is an ongoing process. The great news is that it becomes easier to do each day, and with every successful day you have, you are empowered to keep going.

Getting through the holidays can be challenging, especially the first one after leaving a drug rehabilitation center. Remember everything you have learned about yourself and addiction while in rehab, and use that information to have a good and memory-making holiday.

Make sure that you have your support systems in place as you face the first holidays in recovery. If you need to make additional appointments with your substance recovery counselor, a support group, sponsor, or even a regular therapist, then do so. There is nothing wrong with taking extra precautions and everything right about doing what it takes to stay in recovery.

Take to heart that your family and friends are just human beings. They will most likely have your best interests at heart, even if they are a little awkward about how they approach the subject. Once they know that you are comfortable with the new life you have given yourself from going to rehab, they will become more comfortable with the situation.

Try to enjoy these special times with your family and friends. However, if you become uncomfortable, don’t feel bad about calling it an early night and excusing yourself from the gathering.

Continue reading our Addiction Recovery And The Holidays series with Part 2: Lonelines.

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