This will be our last post before Christmas, so we thought it prudent to discuss the importance of recovery-first during the holidays. If this is your first year in recovery, then this may be your program’s first real test. Unfortunately, relapse over the holidays is a common occurrence, but it can be avoided provided however you put your program first.
Addiction recovery must always be a priority; however, holidays often demand more of people than average days of the year. That can mean attending more meetings than usual or calling your sponsor or recovery peers more often than average. The point is that it’s beneficial to remain connected to the recovery community during more emotionally taxing times of the year.
Men and women should attempt to plan all holiday activities around the needs of one’s program. They must also be conscious of their limitations to avoid situations that can compromise one’s program strength. People, places, and things that carry even a slight risk of jeopardizing a person’s recovery should be avoided, even when it is upsetting. Early recovery is a fragile time, placing oneself into hazardous situations this Christmas and New Year’s Eve is inadvisable.
The Pulse of Recovery
The value of recognizing your limitations cannot be overemphasized. Which means if you are unsure about attending a holiday festivity, it’s best to discuss your plans with a trusted confidant first. Your sponsor or someone else in your support network could help you gauge if your attendance is unwise.
If there is an activity that you feel must be attended, perhaps one of your peers in the program can be your plus-one. It helps to have support when you find yourself in an environment that carries the potential of generating undesirable feelings. Family gatherings are notorious for precipitating old ways of thinking; if a person does not have their finger on the pulse of recovery, then they are at risk making poor decisions to cope with feelings.
It is also vital to remind oneself that there is no shame in choosing not to attend holiday dinners or New Year’s Eve parties. Your loved ones may try to pressure you into going, but your lack of taking part is nothing to feel guilty about. If recovery is your priority, then it is best to heed any reservations you have about attending. There will always be other gatherings in the years to come, that’s a guarantee; but, there is no guarantee that a person has another recovery.
Lastly, do your best to operate in a state of gratitude and practice being present as much as possible. Take some time to recognize the strides made since you got sober and to express your appreciation for everyone who is instrumental to your recovery. Telling someone how thankful you are for their help may be the best gift that that person receives this Christmas. So never hesitate to gift the gift of gratitude. When the people in your support network know they are appreciated it makes you feel good inside, which is a priceless gift.
Reach Out for Recovery
Perhaps, you have decided that 2019 is the year that you heal from mental illness and begin a rewarding journey of recovery. Please reach out to Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat to take the first step toward a new life.