Getting back on track with recovery after the holidays may be difficult for some. Many may feel a little unmotivated after all of the end-of-the-year festivities. After all, it is a hectic, stressful time of the year and feeling a little down afterward is normal. But remaining unmotivated is not normal, and now is the time to get back on track with your addiction recovery program. You may have let a few things slip by during the holiday season, like attending your support group meetings. Reconnecting with your group sooner rather than later is important to your recovery. So plan to attend the very next meeting and get on with your life.
If you had the unpleasant experience of an encounter with a few rude people during your holiday get-togethers, don’t let it get you down. There will always be negative people around, no matter where you go in life. Don’t let their problem become yours; even if they are resentful of things that may have happened between you and them in the past. If they want to wallow in that state of misery let them. Your best bet is to apologize, let it go and move on.
Dealing with a Relapse
Perhaps you had to fight off the temptation to relapse while attending a holiday party. Or maybe you did relapse during a holiday party and now you are filled with guilt. Relapse is a recognized part of addiction, so don’t be so hard on your self. Just pick yourself up and get back to square one where you belong. Getting back to a structured recovery program will help keep you focused and strong. Meet with your counselor and discuss anything that may be troubling you at this time. Don’t let negative input build up inside you because it will eventually express itself in some unhealthy way, usually in the form of sadness, anger, grief, despair or physical sickness. Nip it in the bud now and begin your New Year on a positive note.
The holiday season is filled with pressures that can become overwhelming. Perhaps you are having financial difficulties, yet you are expected to buy everyone a gift for the holiday. This type of stress can be a trigger to relapse. When anxiety and stress become overwhelming, it usually forces a person to rely on their defense mechanisms. These mechanisms include avoidance, denial, rationalization and regression which may all lead a person to relapse. The best way to approach such problems is to identify the cause and deal with it in a realistic way. If you cannot afford to buy everyone a gift, then don’t. You should not put yourself in a dangerous state of mind where you are tempted to relapse because you have to meet someone’s unrealistic expectations. Be honest with yourself and them. Your sanity, health and recovery are more important than putting your self in more financial debt.
Staying on Track
If you are in a 12-step program, begin to review the steps and see which ones you still have to work on. Discuss these issues with your counselor too and share them with your friends at the 12-step meetings. Most recovering addicts will share what has worked for them and they may offer you some excellent advice. Bringing problems out in the open may help to relieve some of the internal pressure that problems cause. If you are embarrassed about certain things, then only discuss them during individual counseling sessions with your therapist.
Another downer during the holidays can be the weather. In most places in the U.S. it is cold, wet and dreary during the winter months. The weather can cause some people to feel depressed because of lack of sunlight, so be sure to get outdoors and into the sunlight as much as possible. It is also cold and flu season during the winter. Keep your body well nourished and hydrated and make sure to get plenty of rest. The holidays can wear us down physically and if we become sick, we will be more vulnerable to stress. Spend as much time as you can with family and friends and do the things that you enjoy.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.