The reality is that the holiday season for many of us brings up unresolved feelings of fear and anger as we are confronted by our family issues, both real and imagined, as they play out against the backdrop of the holidays. Surrounded by those with good intentions and conspirators alike it is hard not to get swept away in the yuletide. It is particularly difficult time for those in recovery during the holidays and perhaps doubly so for those in early recovery.
For newly recovering addicts the holidays serve as a painful reminder of the past, fractured relationships, and missed opportunities. Too many people in recovery spend the holidays plagued by memories of loved ones and friends they have hurt with their destructive and manipulative behaviors. Left unaided many simply isolate and suffer devastating set backs and relapses.
So, what to do? This is the time reach out to others in your recovery community. Reaching out to those around
you offers you a sense of connection and is the best antidote for the acute sense of loneliness that comes with the holidays. Share your story with others in recovery, read of their trials and tribulations on this blog, attend
It is important to remind those in recovery that the holidays themselves offer a unique gift. They offer you an opportunity to make amends. Instead of dwelling on failed relationships, and past behaviors the holidays can actually provide a special opportunity to mend broken relationships. This is the time to make a list of those people in your life you have hurt and consider ways to reconnect with them. While it is not always possible to make amends with everyone that might come to mind, there will always be a few of them, especially family members, you can reach out to in the true spirit of giving.
This is another reason why being a part of a recovery community is so important. You have a chance to share your story, talk to counselors, sponsors and those in similar circumstances about this and get some input before embarking on this important step in your recovery process. They can also help you to have realistic expectations. You may find this holiday season is not the exciting and joyous experience others seem to make it out to be. Maybe no one seemed to have reached out to you in any special way. Maybe you did not handle all the stress of the holidays, as you would have liked to. So what? Making it through the holidays without using drugs or alcohol could actually be the most significant thing you managed to do this holiday season. This, in of itself, is a major accomplishment and the greatest gift of all.