For those in recovery from substance use disorder, the holidays present enormous challenges. The media promotes Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve as a prime time for happy families. But many people aren’t that fortunate. Pangs of loneliness may loom exceptionally sharp during what’s supposed to be a merry time of the year. And the pressure to phone home may feel overwhelming. But, if you didn’t have that ideal childhood or if you’re still coping with the fallout of a dysfunctional family situation, the idea of going home for the holidays may terrify you.
The holiday season brings with it something other than good tidings of great joy for those who struggle with drugs or alcohol. It also brings temptation and the threat of relapse. But if you practice your recovery behaviors religiously and remember that you’re fully capable of coping without the help of self-medication, you can enjoy sober holidays. Contact Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge today at 844.442.8673 for more information about how we can help you do that.
Embrace Your Recovery Family
You may not have a festive family farmhouse to go home to these holidays. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t caring people invested in you. Embrace your recovery family this holiday season. Surround yourself with that network of supportive friends and family members who assisted you during your recovery. Maybe you can’t enjoy the embrace of a loving mother and father on Christmas morning. Perhaps you never had those luxuries from the beginning. Or maybe addiction caused a rift between you that still needs time to heal. Regardless, the holidays are for spending time with the most important people in your life. Even if those people are your sponsor or peers who went through recovery with you, they matter. Hold these folks close as you celebrate sober holidays this year.
Don’t Buy Into the Holiday Propaganda
Maybe it won’t be a white Christmas, and maybe your version of a crackling fireplace is a candle jar scented like a Christmas cookie. These things don’t matter, so don’t buy into the idea that everything must be perfect for providing a joyous holiday. Remember what you learned in recovery, instead:
- Whatever you have is enough.
- Whatever you’re currently feeling is okay.
- You’re not required to spend beyond your means to make the holidays suitable for others.
- You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.
- Your recovery is the most crucial factor.
Enjoy what you have and where you are in your recovery this holiday season. Don’t expect your life to mimic a Hallmark Christmas movie. Life isn’t idyllic for anyone, but those who enjoy it the most are those who perfect the art of being happy with what they have.
Stay in Touch With Your Own Needs
The holidays are for giving. But for those in recovery from substance use disorder, it’s often difficult to understand when to stop. Many people, particularly adult children of alcoholics, are people-pleasers who value others’ feelings over our own. Know when to say no this holiday season and know when to rest. Take care of yourself and your mental health as you volunteer to wrap presents or assist at the local soup kitchen. You’re important, too. Your feelings matter. Remember not to overlook them as you celebrate sober holidays.
Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge Can Help
If you’re struggling to celebrate sober holidays this year, Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge may be a solution. Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge is a faith-based program that helps adults over the age of 18 can recover from drug and alcohol addiction. We’ll meet you wherever you are in your recovery and light a torch to guide you gently forward. If you think you need help to stay sober this holiday season, call us today at 844.442.8673 to learn about all we offer.