Christmas is a time of year for celebrating. It’s a period where we come together as friends, family, colleagues, and more to toast what has been a great year and spend time together.
However, for alcoholics, the dangers of toasting can be significant, and recovery becomes harder than ever for several reasons. It’s a time to lean on addiction help and get through it, not only to enjoy Christmas but also to ensure you don’t undo all the hard work that has taken place during your treatment and recovery process.
But why is Christmas such a difficult time of year for those suffering from addiction? Whether it be alcohol, drugs, or any other addiction, there are certainly dangers around…
Substances fly around much more freely.
Firstly, temptation is at its peak at this time of year. From office parties to catching up with friends, alcohol is normally prominent, and drugs aren’t too far behind.
It can be a real test of resolve, and in many cases, particularly in the early stages of recovery, it’s best to completely remove yourself from those kinds of situations. Offer alternatives for catching up, such as going for coffee, a run, or something that will allow you to enjoy the same sort without the drugs or booze.
You have no routine.
Christmas sees everyone pulled from pillar to post as they do the rounds seeing people, spending Christmas with family and the rest. The routine goes out the window, which is crucial for anyone in recovery.
Daily meditation or activities that keep people in control can often go missing, so routine must see as little disruption as possible. Try to make sure you have some time to yourself and have the space for undertaking parts of your routine, and don’t be afraid to cancel plans to keep your routine and recover on track.
Emotions are high
There is a range of emotions that run high at Christmas. It can be the most wonderful time of year. It can be the most heartbreaking too. Christmas cheer can turn to depression quite quickly, and with high emotions, it can induce cravings for your addiction.
For example, the anxiety around seeing in-laws or family can increase, which usually may have been dealt with through drink. That isn’t possible now, so it’s important to find ways to cope, which is where your routine and rehab exercises come back into play to stay on track.
Ultimately, the best thing to do is what is right for you. Being open and honest with yourself when you’re struggling over the period will enable you to understand more when you need to take some space or remove yourself from a situation, which will help you get through Christmas and be stronger.
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