Short post today. As a person who no longer drinks alcohol or uses drugs, do you find the holidays more difficult?
Early recovery and sobriety a person is still learning how not to respond to the cravings for drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other self-destructive behaviors. The holidays are a great challenge.
Attending family gatherings where alcohol and/or drugs are offered makes it difficult to enjoy the time with them. Preoccupation with the drugs or alcohol rattles around and keeps one from having a good time. For many the temptation is too much and before the day is done, he or she is right back at square one.
They cycle continues. Waking up from a black out, or a 3 day binge, the question arises, How did I do this again? The shame and anguish, the need to hide, can be overwhelming for many and the person may take years before returning to the safety of recovery.
Developing a safe and secure support group upon entering sobriety is very important. Rather than picking up a drink or a drug, you pick up the phone. Talk it through, take a breath and release the craving. If it is too much, leave, let your family you know you love them, but you cannot stay.
Before attending family gatherings, discuss with the primary family member the goals you have set for yourself. To stay sober and recovery is the primary goal. Keeping family contact is another. Ask for what you need and desire. Ask that this person help you to remain sober and enjoy the festivities. If this cannot be done, then with love, let them know you won’t be attending this year. Perhaps next year you will be stronger in your recovery and the temptation will be lifted.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous promises that you will recover of you have the capacity to be honest. Self-honesty means knowing your limitations and accepting them. We begin with us. One Day at a Time, one step at a time.
Bless you on your journey. Please leave me a comment or send me an email with your thoughts.