Holidays can be filled with happiness, but for most addicts it can be a time of pain and despair. Memories surrounding your behavior are painful reminders of time you missed and are still missing with family. You have two responses to these types of holiday triggers.
Isolation is the enemy of your holiday season. Remember that surviving holiday triggers means that you should not be alone. Stay involved with friends, family and loved ones. Your addiction tells you, “Stay away from them. They are better off without you.” This is not true: Challenge yourself to remain connected.
Are you currently employed? You will probably have a holiday party to attend, which means that holiday triggers will be present. With holiday parties comes holiday boozing. It’s social for some people to drink or use drugs but for you it’s not the same. You are nervous about interacting with your co-workers because you know you have a problem. Have a plan to combat the holiday triggers at the workplace. For example, have a sober friend accompany you or set a time limit on how long you plan on being there.
Does your family use alcohol and drugs when celebrating? Holidays are a great excuse for family members to overindulge and food isn’t the only drug of choice. When you are surrounded by intoxicated family members and can’t indulge, you may feel a little resentful. Or you may feel uncomfortable engaging in substance abuse around your family because they are social users and you are not. You always end up drinking more than you should.
Don’t let history repeat itself. Maybe it’s time to give your family the gift of recovery this holiday. If you are already in recovery, have a sponsor and a meetings list handy when you encounter holiday triggers when with your family.
Are you sick of just surviving? Holiday triggers can help you recognize that you need treatment. If you are thinking negative thoughts like the ones stated above and using drugs and alcohol, you need drug rehab. Make the decision to get treatment before you continue the same addiction pattern this holiday season.
In drug rehab you will learn how to manage triggers that will come up as the season progresses. Your plan to remain drug- and alcohol-free begins with eliminating substance abuse from your life. Lakeview Health understands the importance of being sober and present with family, friends and loved ones over the holidays. There is no better gift to give than your sobriety.
By: Mark S. Gold, MD & Dr. Drew W. Edwards, EdD, MS 1. What Drives the Onset, Progression, and...
The disease of addiction is always waiting to strike. Be prepared to stay sober and safe this holiday. The...
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