Posted on December 22, 2017 by Kacy
Every year, dozens of blogs focus on the numerous ways that addicts struggle during the holidays. While the stretch between the holidays and the New Year can seem difficult to navigate, it doesn’t have to be.
The solution to addiction doesn’t change just because the season does. As you celebrate the holiday, protect your recovery by taking action that can help you stay sober all year long.
This time of year, it’s hard not to be distracted from our daily disciplines. Be sure to make some quiet time each day to pray, meditate and stay centered. Maintain your own spiritual practices. Continue to stay connected to your Higher Power as well as opportunities to be of service.
For those in recovery, consider chairing a meeting during the holidays or hosting a party for your friends in recovery. Invite people who don’t have families to celebrate with to join yours. Gather with people in your lineage or home group. Many recovery clubs also have festivities during this time of year. Get involved and offer to be of service.
It is easy to be bogged down with self-pity, especially if this is your first sober holiday season. Stay connected with a sponsor who can hold you accountable to getting out of your own thoughts. Spend time with your friends and family, both within 12-Step groups and beyond them. Harvest gratitude by getting out of self and avoiding isolation. Self-pity is easily diminished when we focus on what we can bring to others rather than what we are missing out on.
Many in recovery find that this time of year is a chance to connect with a more spiritual side of the season that they hadn’t experienced before sobriety. This year, enlarge your spiritual life by delving deeper into the many spiritual traditions that surround the season. Look for suggestions from your local church or synagogue. Participate in a silent retreat. Learn more about a path that motivates you.
If you’re the one in recovery, consider talking honestly about your sobriety with friends and family members. If you do this thoroughly, it is likely that others will be supportive. We do not have to remain anonymous in our recovery. Own your sobriety and stand firm in your decision to pursue a new way of life.
If your loved one is in recovery, talk to them directly about their progress. Don’t walk on eggshells around them. The addiction issue shouldn’t be the elephant in the room. Talking openly can open the door for much needed healing in your family system.
It is easy to focus on material things and forget about the intrinsic spiritual aspect of “gifting”. Recovery typically impacts a person’s finances as much as their health, so give in different ways this year. Offer to give your time and energy instead of focusing on lavish presents. Make a small donation to a charity in someone’s name. The holidays doesn’t have to be about material things.
When in doubt, work with others. “Nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.” Reach out to support your own sponsees or volunteer to help at any of the numerous drives for charity happening this time of year. If you are sober, others can learn from your experience. Get out there and share it!
At Origins, we’re always here to help. Use our support line at (844) U-GET-WELL (844-843-8935) for help when you need it.