Christmas is now less than a week away. At NorthStar Transitions, we hope you are prepared for managing the holiday with recovery at the forefront of your mind. All of us understand that significant holidays can be particularly trying for men and women committed to staying sober.
Fortunately, there is a formula for navigating any extraordinary day of the year without having to pick up a drink or a drug. If you have completed an addiction treatment program, then you probably already have some coping mechanisms at your disposal. You know that your recovery must always come first, which means that you cannot do what you used to do during Christmastime.
You were probably attending a myriad of parties and drank heavily in the days leading up to Christmas before you were in recovery. Now that you are abstinent, it’s best to avoid any event that might compromise your program, including family gatherings.
Even if your loved ones know you are leading a different kind of life, they still might tempt you with having a glass of wine or a beer. Most people who do not have a history of alcohol abuse fail to understand that having just one drink could start you on a course back to your old way of life. So, it may be best to avoid placing yourself in the company of people who do not understand the disease of addiction this Christmas.
Men and women in their first year of recovery must be especially careful during the holiday season. If you are one of those people, then it’s possible that you do not fully understand your limitations.
Don’t Play With Fire in Recovery
You might think that your length of abstinence means that you can be around booze without feeling the temptation to drink. While the latter may be true, it could also be a misconception that can have disastrous consequences. Many a person has made the mistake of thinking their program was stronger than it was; such people place themselves into situations that precipitate cravings and subsequent relapse.
With all the above in mind, please do not opt to attend an event that could jeopardize your hard work. Your family may not understand why you are refusing to sit down with them for Christmas dinner, and that is okay. Do not become discouraged, even if some of your family becomes indignant about your choice to spend Christmas in the company of other sober individuals.
There will be plenty of Christmases to come in the following years, but in the first year of recovery, sticking close to your support network is always a safe choice. Each Christmas, men and women in the program join forces to prevent relapse. Meetings happen around the clock, and members of your homegroup will host sober holiday events. Please accept an invite if you have been asked to attend.
The holidays are an emotional and stressful time. It’s prudent to rely heavily on your support network and bring out all your relapse prevention tools. What’s more, people in recovery have a lot of fun celebrating holidays together. Moreover, they will remember the experience the next morning.
Please be sure to attend meetings next Wednesday; attend more than one if you feel that it’s necessary. It is always an excellent practice to share how you are feeling with your homegroup during a significant holiday. If you are having challenges, then sharing will position you to receive some valuable feedback. Make sure that you keep in touch with your sponsor throughout the day, especially if you are traveling.
Choosing Sobriety This Christmas
Please contact NorthStar Transitions if you are ready to take steps to change your life. Holidays are an excellent time to make changes and begin the new year with a new sense of purpose. Long-term addiction recovery is possible, and NST can help you achieve your goals. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about our process and hope to hear from you today.