Avoiding Isolation this Holiday Season

With Christmas and New Year’s right around the corner, many of us are grappling with the fact that trips home to be with family this season are not feasible, what with COVID travel restrictions and precautions to protect elderly family members. Just because you are unable to spend time with family this season does not mean you should languish at home alone. Isolation is poisonous to our recovery and needs to be avoided at all costs. What are some alternatives to a traditional Christmas and New Year’s celebration with family?

Most 12-step recovery clubhouses run what are known as Alcathons on major holidays, and Christmas and New Years are no exception. Alcathons are 24 hours of continuous 12-step recovery meetings, each starting on the hour every hour. Often the clubhouse offers a holiday meal alongside these meetings, creating some additional incentive for those addicts who may be reluctant to leave their homes for a much-needed meeting. These are a great way to enjoy some camaraderie with your fellow recovering alcoholics, getting a healthy dose of recovery and a delicious meal to boot!

Due to the ongoing concerns surrounding the pandemic, it is possible your local 12-step clubhouse is foregoing their traditional holiday meal out of an abundance of caution. This should not mean you don’t get to enjoy a holiday meal with others! For those residing in a sober living facility, why not organize a potluck dinner with your roommates? This is a great way to enjoy a holiday meal without having to spend a great deal of money, as everyone can pitch in both time and ingredients to complete the feast. It is also an opportunity to grow closer with your fellow recovery warriors, strengthening your bonds and fostering communication and support between you all.

Isolation is both tempting and misleading to addicts in recovery. We often believe time alone is exactly what we need in order to rest and recharge, when in fact this is our disease influencing our decisions in order to lead us to depression and, ultimately, relapse. In these uncertain and stressful times, it is all the more important not to give in to our urge to isolate. Instead, make alternative plans for the upcoming holidays which include time with others in recovery. We cannot recover alone, we need the help of our higher power as well as others in the rooms of AA and NA. Make certain your holidays this year include a healthy dose of both God and sober supports so you can continue to grow in sobriety!