Preparing for Holiday Challenges in Early Addiction Recovery LRI Blog

You can reach to them in a way that lets them know you trust them with their own recovery but that you are there for them if needed. Make them feel included in plans and if you know they are struggling, suggest they attend a meeting or call a sponsor. The simple idea of going holiday shopping can be stressful on its own. For those in early recovery, you’ve probably haven’t seen some family members and friends in awhile.

When the family is already overwhelmed, the idea of investing MORE support may feel difficult to embrace. Treatment takes time, and the realities of hardships while a loved one recovers from physical, financial, and emotional consequences require endurance. It will take time, and there are a number of ways families can stay supportive and involved while also taking care of themselves. Holidays are traditionally a time of family gathering, and as a result they can become a source of stress as well as healing.

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What might happen if you approached a loved one in early recovery and said, “Hey, I am new to this and I have some questions. Would it be okay if I asked you about your perspective on the holiday? ” In my experience, I was able to get so many answers that I could never have figured out on my own even though I had been agonizing over them for weeks. Shutting down is the worst thing you can do in the face of a problem—whether you’re in addiction recovery or not. I can’t think of a single instance in my life when isolating and pitying myself made anything better.

reframing holidays in early recovery

Individuals need support from their families, and families need support and self-compassion to help them understand how their loved one’s addiction affects them. No matter how the family members were affected, they may need healing as well. Learning about addiction is empowering and helps get everyone involved. Look into local meetings and support groups and find ways to support the family in the process of understanding addiction as a disease, and in learning that no situation is too difficult to overcome. When families are engaged in the process of recovery, the outcomes improve significantly. When all members of the family readjust and reconnect in healthy ways, the odds of the loved one in recovery maintaining gains will improve.

How Family Holidays Can Impact Recovery and Create Opportunities for Change

Include stress relieving spiritual practices don’t have to take up much time, but can help us remember our humanity and our interconnectedness during what can be a frenzied time. Even something as simple as practicing kindness fits the spirit of the season while helping you to feel more connected to others. Ultimately, there reframing holidays in early recovery is no magic formula to make things perfect for this holiday season. And I’m pretty sure there is no such thing as a “perfect” holiday season, anyway. In fact, it is often the bumps, hiccups and awkward moments that make for the most laughter and joy when we are accepting of the reality and beauty of our imperfections.

reframing holidays in early recovery

For individuals in early recovery, staying sober can be a challenging task at any time of the year. However, the holiday season can bring about additional stressors and pressures that can make staying sober seem even more daunting. For some, this may be the first holiday season in sobriety.

Have a built in solution for stress

We are dedicated to providing you with valuable resources that educate and empower you to live better. First, our content is authored by the experts — our editorial team co-writes our content with mental health professionals at Thriveworks, including therapists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and more. Our clinical and medical experts author our content, in partnership with our editorial team.

  • Most individuals will encounter an amalgamation of emotions, including stress, happiness, melancholy, excitement, loneliness, and hope.
  • Have a plan for the holiday, including mutual aid meetings and calls to those central to your recovery.
  • Suboxone should not be taken by individuals who have been shown to be hypersensitive to buprenorphine or naloxone as serious adverse reactions, including anaphylactic shock, have been reported.
  • If you feel that you don’t have the strength to navigate the holidays by yourself, you don’t have to.
  • In addition, we only use authoritative, trusted, and current sources.

Regardless of whether alcohol is served or not, the recovering person may want to invite a recovering guest. Fortunately, many in early recovery do well during the holidays. The experience of sharing the holidays with family or friends can strengthen their recovery and reinforce the value of the fuller, more authentic way of life they are entering. The holidays can, in effect, be a time to reconnect and restore. To help foster a positive holiday environment for those in recovery, please keep in mind the following tips.

Engaging With Continuing Treatment Resources

However, just because these emotions can be too much to handle, they are not excuses to rationalize a slip. The disease of addiction doesn’t make exceptions for the holidays. There is no magic formula that ensures a family celebration will go perfectly. These events are often filled with bumps, hiccups and awkward moments. Try to see the humor in these human moments and accept the reality that there is beauty in the imperfections. This is an ongoing adage in recovery, because each phase will eventually pass.

  • The healing power of relationships, trust, love and connection is one of the most important tools for families.
  • It’s okay to do something different, to change locations, to change who you celebrate with or the amount of time you spend at a specific event.
  • Addictive behaviors include pushing boundaries and breaking rules, and your loved one is likely to know how to manipulate you.
  • Recovery Unplugged’s editorial process involves our editing safeguard and our ideals.
  • In time, a fully recovered person may be able to be around alcohol with no problem at all.

Recovery changes family dynamics as each family member learns about the disease of addiction and their own need for support. You may be tempted to allow yourself more leeway but this can be detrimental to your resilience during this time. Take sleep for instance, regular bed times and wake up times with between 7-8 hours of sleep will keep you healthy by not over extending yourself.

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