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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maintaining Sobriety Through the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, considered by most people as the "happiest time of the year." Family, food, and presents are on every one's mind as we all prepare to rejoice together. Unfortunately, many of those in recovery find this time of the year especially stressful which often leads to relapse.

A number of addicts while in the grips of their addiction become estranged from family members and in many cases have lost their welcome at family gatherings due to past indiscretions. Rebuilding ties can take years of recovery, leaving many with the feeling of loneliness during the holidays.

A well known physician in the field of addiction made this list of common challenges that present themselves at this time of the year:
  • Families can be a strong trigger, especially during the holidays.
  • Painful memories of holidays past come to the forefront.
  • Social situations offer an abundance of alcohol and days with opportunities to relapse.
  • Travel and busy schedules increase overall stress and fatigue and can lead to emotional swings.
  • We are often away from our support network and our routines, enhancing a feeling of aloneness and making it harder to "work our program." We also often "beat ourselves up" because we believe we should be happy now that we are sober, but we often actually feel more isolated.
Fortunately, in most cities you can find a meeting every hour of the day during the major holidays. There is always someone to talk to about how you are feeling; one never has to be by themselves if they do not want to be. It is important that you stay active throughout the holidays, reaching out to those who are new to recovery.

We wish everyone a happy holiday and hope you all stay safe...

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