Navigating the holidays in recovery

Some people in long-term recovery drink so-called “non-alcoholic” beer and wine. If this works for them, it is of course perfectly acceptable. It should be noted, though, that these beverages generally do include small amounts of alcohol. For people in the early stages of recovery from alcohol addiction, these beverages should be avoided. These varied and pronounced emotional experiences, coupled with the change in daily routines and plethora of holiday parties, may pose challenges to those in recovery from addiction. However, we can make intentional decisions to support our community members in recovery as we navigate the holiday season.

  • You may not be the only one trying to navigate the holidays without family.
  • Fortunately, many recovery programs know that temptations only get stronger during the holidays.
  • Friends and families come together and we place at the forefront of our thoughts all of the joy of our connections that we sometimes forget in the day-to-day.
  • Navigating early recovery during the holidays can be a challenge.

At the same time, a loved one may feel out of place at a table where everyone has a glass of wine. For some, a “mocktail” might make them feel like part of the gathering, but for others it could become an invitation for binge drinking. To keep from dwelling on the difficulty of changing your life and leaving drugs or alcohol behind, try to enrich your time with new activities that could even become new holiday traditions. Some good ideas that you could try are things like restorative yoga or art therapy, but you can test out new hobbies that can also be therapeutic like wood carving, ice skating, cooking, or hiking. The first obstacle that often comes up is the holiday office party.

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Here at BTG we talk about the importance of eating good sources of protein for our neurotransmitter health or mood repairing and stabilizing forces. It can be tempting during the holiday to eat a bunch of junk food but it will do nothing for your mood or your cravings. Doing things like skipping a meal, or not including protein can lower your resilience or the ability for you to handle what life is throwing at you. Reattribution is a fancy therapy word for finding new explanations for why things happen and challenging some of our deeply ingrained ideas by considering alternatives.

reframing holidays in early recovery

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. Thankfully I was in a good place mentally, which allowed me to stay calm and avoid getting angry with her or screaming at her that I deserved to come home.

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Learning to survive the holidays without family is a way to learn how to stand on your own. If you or someone you love is in recovery and are worried about getting through the holidays, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. We have put together a list of tips and resources to help people in recovery from a substance use disorder get through the holidays. In the same way, it is a good principle to keep alcohol, medications that can be misused and any other substances out of the recovery environment of a person in early recovery. In time, a fully recovered person may be able to be around alcohol with no problem at all. For this first holiday season, though, it is usually better if it is not around.

Our purpose here at Delamere is to help people free themselves from addiction and grow beyond what they thought possible for themselves. Whether you’ve been a guest at Delamere or not, we’re still here to help if you need it this Christmas. By putting certain measures in place and asking for support from those around you – you can still have a Christmas packed with laughter and love while keeping your recovery intact.

Understanding the Challenges of the Holiday Season in Early Recovery:

Contact us and learn more about our aftercare recovery program to access the support you need this time of the year. 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. During the holidays, you’re more likely to feel pressure from family members and friends to be perfect.

reframing holidays in early recovery

Taking Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) with other opioid medicines, benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants can cause breathing problems that can lead to coma and death. For more information about Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) see, the full Prescribing Information, and Medication Guide, or talk to your healthcare provider. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of drugs to the FDA. After that talk with my friend, my view shifted completely. I didn’t have an incredible holiday season but you know what?

Preparing for Holiday Challenges in Early Addiction Recovery

SMART Recovery Family & Friends helps those who are affected by substance abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or other addictions of a loved one. Our program is a science-based, secular alternative to Al-Anon and Johnson Intervention, and our method is based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training). reframing holidays in early recovery CRAFT aims to teach family and friends self-protection and non-confrontational communication skills to help their addicted loved one find recovery. While you may be able to avoid many of the family-related triggers that occur during the holiday season by being without family, you also do not have family members to share your wins with.

At the end of the day, no matter what you do, you cannot control your loved one’s recovery. No matter how smart or strong you are, getting support from others who understand what you are going through is critical. In sailing, the seasoned mariner knows that no matter how exact he is in his rigging and tacking and moving all of the parts of the boat, he cannot control the wind. Knowing what we can and cannot control, and then practicing the art of accepting that which I cannot, is paramount in keeping sane during these times. I remember the first time I went to an Al-Anon meeting and I was told that I could have peace in my life even if my loved one was still drinking and using substances. I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever heard in my life.

If you’re in early recovery and heading home to family members for the holidays:

At the time, I didn’t deserve anything except for another sober day. Here are tips for those in early recovery on how to navigate the holidays. 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.

She’s written extensively on her own experience through addiction into long-term recovery. This principle will cover so much more than one might imagine if it is bravely pursued. As I have already mentioned, family members have many questions about how to act and what to do around a loved one in early recovery. Also, they have questions about how much should be shared with others in the family and circle of friends.


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