The holidays can be a stressful time, even for those who are not in recovery. This holiday season, there is still a lot to be grateful for. You’re here, you’re alive, and you’re in recovery.
No matter where you’re in recovery, you may have some unresolved feelings about the holiday and the people you spend it with. You’re entitled to those feelings, and it’s okay to feel them. You don’t have to feel grateful or cheerful if it’s not genuine. Part of recovery is accepting that not every day is a perfect day.
Family and the Holidays
Freedom from addiction means that you can be grateful for recovery even if you feel sad or angry. Today, you can choose who you spend the holiday with. Not everyone has a family that invites them to eat. Many people have also experienced trauma that makes family gatherings painful or a wrong choice for spending the holidays.
Today, you have choices. If you don’t have a family you want to spend time with, you can let the 12-step rooms embrace you. Many meetings have special “holiday hours” and some even run 24 hours for people who need them.
Your Recovery Family
It’s okay to build your own family of people in recovery. If you’re new to recovery, do what feels right for you. If you’re worried about spending time with people in your family, have an “escape plan” that you plan out with your sponsor. Whatever you do, don’t waste time alone. You don’t have to! Call your sponsor if you’re worried about holiday plans.
Be a part of the celebration you choose to attend. Get out of your thoughts and feelings by helping set the table, cleaning up, or even cooking. It’s hard to obsess about the past while you’re concentrating on helping.
Many people say Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what you DO have. Gratitude, in recovery, is more of an action than a feeling. While you may have conflicted feelings about the holiday, you can still “act as if” and the feelings can follow. If you’re uncomfortable, you can always hightail it to a 12-step meeting where you’ll be with the recovery family that understands what you’re going through.
Just don’t pick up a drink or a drug, and you’ll get through it!
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction can be a downward spiral for many people, especially around the holiday season. You don’t have to suffer in silence, and hitting bottom is not required to seek recovery. We’ve helped hundreds of people chart a path to recovery. Give yourself a chance. For a free and anonymous consultation, please contact us to learn more about how we can help. Our number is 619-363-4767.