Avoiding Holiday Relapse


The holidays are fast-approaching. In our American traditions, the holidays are a period for over-eating seasonal foods, spending extended time with family & friends, and overall just having a great time as we make beautiful memories. Although, if you are an individual in recovery from alcoholism, it's likewise a period of anxiety and difficulties. To the average American, alcoholic drinks frequently make an event feel celebratory. How would you join in without feeling obliged to drink?


In the event that the issues with alcoholism has not been disclosed to certain family members, how would you and the individuals who support you get through the event without giving it away? Even if your addiction and recovery is not a secret, you may feel undue stress and even somewhat nervous that others will watch you and judge you the entire time. Even worse, if your last holiday gathering was ruined by your behavior while you were drinking, you are likely anticipating the holidays with humiliation and disgrace.

Participating in family occasions that incorporate alcohol in the festivities may make you feel like you are being set up for failure. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can avoid these issues, and more importantly, avoid relapse during the holidays by being prepared. Taking control of your own actions and planning ahead with these tips will allow you to make the most of your time with your loved ones.


Stay Focused on Your Recovery Path

Once in recovery, individuals regularly begin to see negative issues with others’ behavior. As it's been said in AA, "Mind your own business." It's already enough to deal with your own particular issues. It's none of your business what others are doing. Truth be told, focusing on other individuals' bad choices when it comes to self control can often lead to additional problems in your own recovery and cause you to get off track.


Take Full Responsibility for Your Past Conduct

There may be relatives who feel hurt and angry about how you've carried on in the past and who pick the holiday gatherings where you are present as an opportunity to air their grievances. Your best bet is to quickly and tactfully remind those persons that, yes, you are sorry for your past behaviors yet that you are in recovery now and you are focused on positive goals in your life. Then, change the subject to something else — like asking what new and positive things are happening in their lives right now.


Decline to Participate in Conversations About Alcohol

There may be individuals from your family who like to share past stories and to even joke about the amount they drank or how drunk they were at different events. Others may jump at the chance to boast about the amount they can drink in one sitting or about past adventures in their local bars. Some may appear to find this all very humorous while others will be obviously embarrassed. Just to be clear, such conversations are harmful to your recovery efforts. Take a moment to step away if possible to speak with others at the event. Or, go for a walk or offer to help in the kitchen. If you have no other options, you can simply go to the last sanctuary in most American families — the restroom!


Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Drinks

One approach to assure that you have something non-alcoholic in your glass is to bring the beverage yourself. Bring a non-alcoholic jug or a holiday punch that even the children can appreciate. It really is that simple.


Watch Out for the Negativity

Beware if there are others in the family who see your sobriety as a personal attack on their decision to get drunk. It's not in the slightest bit out of the ordinary for such individuals to attempt to persuade you to go along with them and “just have one drink”. Frequently they will say things like, "Come on. It's a holiday. You can have only one. There’s no harm in just one drink." They don't get it and they aren’t going to try to empathize with you.


Set up a mental rundown of things you can do amid the family occasion to have a great time without alcohol.


Preparation is the way to get through these events successfully. What are some different approaches to celebrate without drinking? Perhaps you can open up conversations with more distant relatives you rarely see. Or you can invite some guests to play a board game or card game for entertainment. Whatever you decide, make sure it is something you will enjoy.


Have a Plan to Exit

Ensure you have a plan to leave in the event that you have to if it becomes too much for you to handle. That most likely means planning or providing your own transportation. That also means letting the host or other individuals know you may need to leave early and to ask that they please support you if that happens. It may even mean coming up with a valid excuse to tell if you feel the need to exit the party abruptly. These are all strategies we encourage you to use to stay strong and committed to your sobriety.


Seeking Treatment

The important thing in all of this is that you seek help for your drug addiction. Do not let fear keep you from the life you have always wanted. You do not need to fight this disease alone and any and all concerns that you have can be addressed as you move through the process of recovery. So call the professionals at Evolutions Treatment Center today, at 1-866-771-7091. We are standing by to help you finally overcome your addiction.


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