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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Maintaining Your Recovery On Christmas Day

With Christmas less than two days away, and everyone rushing to get the last of their gifts, stress may be building. Christmas is, for many, the most important day of the year, but despite that it can also be one of the most stressful days. While everyone wants to spend time with their loved ones, eat food and be merry, for a number of people being around their family can be difficult - especially for those in recovery. Christmas, like any major holiday, typically involves an admixture of family and too much alcohol, so it makes sense that people in recovery find it a challenge to navigate on the road of recovery during the special day.

It cannot be overemphasized how important staying close to one’s sponsor, either in person or by phone, is for maintaining a program of recovery during the holiday. It is quite common for people who are new to recovery to find themselves in sticky situations during Christmas, environments that could compromise one’s program. Talking to your sponsor or recovery peers about your plans for the day will help you determine if you are putting yourself at risk. Everyone wants to be with their family on Christmas, but for some it may not safe and finding a healthy alternative is of the utmost importance.

It may not be healthy to be around one’s family for lengthy periods of time - especially when alcohol is likely to be present. Fortunately, you can open presents and have a bite to eat, and then explain to your family that it is important that you focus on your recovery for the rest of the day. 12-step meetings will be taking place throughout the holiday and everyone in recovery should make a concerted effort to attend a meeting - or several meetings for that matter. It is quite common for people in early recovery to attend multiple meetings on Christmas day, if you find yourself struggling - meetings can make all the difference.

While your recovery peers are not your capital “F” family, they are a collective of people working together towards the same ends which makes them a family. Being around a group of people with the common goal of living free from drugs and alcohol can be of comfort during the holidays, and can be the catalyst for creating new holiday rituals and traditions that do not involve getting drunk or high. One of the beautiful aspects of addiction recovery is that you are able to form new and meaningful bonds that can last a lifetime. 

Hope By The Sea would like to wish everyone a safe and sober Christmas. We understand that the holidays can be a difficult time, but it is possible to make it through the day without drinking or using. If you find yourself struggling, do not hesitate to reach out for help.

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