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Families and the Holidays in Recovery

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.



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Mark G
Mark Gladden brings both personal and professional experience to his role as co-founder of Present Moments Recovery. Now in long-term recovery himself after struggling with addiction for years, Mark understands firsthand the challenges men face in achieving and maintaining sobriety. It was this insight, combined with a desire to help others, that led Mark to establish Present Moments Recovery.

Get in Touch with Our Caring Team

We are waiting for your call. Don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and dial 619-363-4767 today.

Your first call will be greeted by one of our intake counselors who will be able to provide information on what program would be appropriate for your situation, as well as information about the process of getting treatment at our facility, if appropriate.

If Present Moments is the right fit for your current situation you will be speaking to Admissions Director Mark Gladden, who will be your guide throughout the process of arranging travel and undergoing an initial detox (if necessary). Mark has been the guide for dozens of men and women who have gotten their lives back by entering treatment at Present Moments. He has earned his reputation as being truly dedicated to the recovery of others. Mark will be the one to ‘show you the ropes’ when it comes to admitting to our facility for treatment

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