The holiday season (mid-November to early January) is perhaps the hardest emotional time for Americans. The recession, complicated family dynamics, and many other reasons cause a tidal wave of depression throughout the nation, but for those battling addiction, the holidays are unbearable. Alcohol and drug use is everywhere from a glass of wine at Thanksgiving to wild drug and alcohol fueled parties on New Year’s Eve making it hard for recovering addicts and alcoholics to stay on the right path.
The anxiety of the holiday season is often driven by unrealistic expectations implanted in our memory by socio-economically sound nuclear families. This idealized expectation is not only inaccurate for the majority of Americans, it is damaging.
In order to assure an emotionally safe and physically sober holiday, we must change the way we look at this time of year, by focusing on not what is owed to us (i.e. presents under the Christmas tree) but by looking within. Below are some of my personal sayings for the holiday season as well as my advice on life.
There is the family you are born with and the family you choose spend time with the family that has your best interest at heart.
There is always somebody in this world who is going to have more than you, focus your energy instead on who has less. Be thankful for what is right in your life, and lend a hand to those in need.
Whether you are a recovering addict, struggling with addiction, or a family member of someone struggling with addiction, now is not the time to drag up the ghosts of Christmas past. The holidays are tough for all, but especially for those battling addiction. Negative energy creates negative behavior. The overall reaching traditions of this season are charity, humility, family, and resolution, encouraging this behavior is a push in the right direction to getting yourself or a loved one clean.