How Can I Handle Family Pressure to Ignore COVID Risks and Partake in Holiday Gatherings?

Now that you have transitioned from active addiction to sobriety, you should be more invested in your physical and mental health. As such, you are likely concerned about contracting CoVID-19, especially given the fact your body is continuing to recover from the prolonged assault it endured during your substance abuse. In spite of your desire to heal damaged relationships with loved ones, your health and well-being should be your first priority. How can you balance your need to stay healthy with your family’s desire to throw caution to the wind and host large family gatherings?

Without question, your health should be a top priority for you now that you are a person in recovery. You have just worked incredibly hard to restore your mental clarity and achieve a life worth living again, so risking this life for something as fleeting and comparatively inconsequential as one holiday gathering with family would be a senseless decision. Surely you were unable to attend previous family gatherings in your active addiction, you should absolutely be willing to make the same sacrifice for your sobriety that you did for your addiction regardless of any pressure you receive from family members.

There may be some family members unwilling to accept your reasoning behind skipping the in-person gatherings this year. They may act disgusted with what they perceive as an overabundance of caution, perhaps even threatening to rescind this and all future invitations to holiday gatherings. Remain calm in the face of their emotion, simply state you are invested in your health and wellness now that you are in sobriety and due to your hightened risk for contracting the virus you are unwilling to engage in any group gatherings. If they truly love and care about you, they will eventually come to understand and respect your decision. Give them time and space if need be, respect their boundaries just as you want yours respected.

You should be fully invested in improving and protecting all aspects of your health as part of your journey in recovery. To this end, you should carefully consider whether it is wise to attend large family gatherings, especially considering your immune system is probably still weakened as a result of your substance abuse. Family members could very well pressure you to ignore the risks and attend these gatherings. You should stand firm against this pressure, reaffirming your commitment to your health while setting boundaries in your relationships with those close to you. In time they will come to understand why you have decided to skip the holiday dinners this year, and your relationships with these loved ones will be healthier because of your commitment to setting and maintaining boundaries in defense of your health and sobriety!

ABOUT EVOLUTIONS TREATMENT Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit