If you are not feeling the joy and cheer you think everyone else has all around you this Holiday season, DO NOT FEEL ALONE! The holidays are ruthless for causing people of any type, clean and sober, rich and poor, functioning and not, to become depressed. As well, for our circle of recovery we all know how notorious the holidays season is for causing recovering addicts and alcoholics to relapse.
During this holiday season, there are some things to consider with regards to how all this joyous frolicking may affect you and your recovery, so read on!
OUR FEELINGS RIGHT NOW ARE GIGANTIC
This is no small matter. The holidays bring up feelings from the past that are good, bad, sad, and the holidays really make the past a central focus. Think about it. All we do during this time is ‘compare’. We compare where we were last year to now, who we spent last Christmas with before, to who we are with now. It’s endless, even on Christmas Day itself we will be comparing our gifts and probably wishing we got something better.
What is important to realize is that the Holidays draw out feelings regardless of who you are or not. It is meant to be a time of love and joy and sharing. These are great big emotional situations. Take care of yourself right now, and allow yourself to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE if you are affected negatively during the holidays.
Re-consider the Christmas-Family-Visit
This is mega of all whammies for people in recovery and especially for people in early recovery. Seeing the family at Christmas is very very emotional. Do not feel obligated to make appearances for the family’s sake. If you are not ready to take on the family and Christmas all at once, spend Christmas with your sober family!
For many successful recovering addicts and alcoholics, it took one, two, three years and more before they could join the family for Christmas. Because of all its old baggage, old habits and disappoints, together combined with the overfilled emotional celebrations of the holidays, for them, was just too much before they knew they could go and stay clean and sober- AND FEEL HAPPY!!
USE RECOVERY TOOLS RIGHT NOW, LOTS OF TOOLS
If you don’t understand what a recovery tool is then we will make it easy for you and name the best ones. First, make sure your sponsor, or sober circle of friends, are available to see you and to talk to you EVERY DAY of the Holiday season. Second, GET REAL AND DO NOT GO TO X-MAS PARTIES WHERE ALCOHOL IS SERVED! This is a no brainer, it will suck and you will be tempted as well as miserable. Third, make more than one Christmas and New Year’s plan. You may change your mind about wanting to go one hour before. In this case, what is important is to have a backup plan, so you don’t feel left out or alone.
For example, where and when are some good meetings or church services to go to? Fourth, DO NOT GO TO PARTIES WHERE ALCOHOL IS SERVED. Fifth, it is okay to stay at your sober home, or in, and not celebrate the Holidays. In fact, a lot of regular people in America think of Christmas or New Years as just a long weekend off from work and do nothing but rest! RIGHT ON!! So watch that awesome movie, go take a long bath or stroll by the ocean. Be YOU and be comfortable!
LAST WORDS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Love yourself, love your recovery, and most importantly Do Not Feel Alone because REALLY, we are ALL feeling the emotional ups and downs in a big way during the Holiday season.
PEACE BE WITH YOU, GOD LOVES YOU THE MOST AND STAY STRONG!
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