To say that New Year’s Eve tests your sobriety is to put it mildly. Alcohol seems to be virtually everywhere as folks toast to new beginnings. In fact, New Year’s Eve ranks number one on the list of “booziest” holidays of the year, according to TIME magazine. And even if you decide to skip the festivities, you may be haunted by feelings of missing out or even memories of past celebrations during active addiction.
That said: It is possible to ring in the New Year without relapsing – and you can have a little fun, too. Here are some tips to help make this happen.
- Change your mindset. New Year’s Eve is about getting drunk or high for many people, but not you anymore. And now you have even more reason to celebrate; just think about all you’ve accomplished and all you have to look forward to in your recovery.
- Buddy up. Ask a friend or loved one who supports your sobriety to stick with you on New Year’s Eve, especially if you plan on attending a social event where there’s drugs and/or alcohol available. This person should understand your hard work and sobriety goals and be able to talk to you or steer you away should temptation strike.
- Create an exit plan. In addition to having an excuse ready as to why you’re not drinking or using, you also need a strategy in case you’re feeling too much pressure and need to leave. You can even tell the host ahead of time of your plans to leave early beforehand.
- Celebrate with sober friends. Recovery is the perfect time to create new traditions with new friends who support your recovery. Gather a few sober friends together for some sober fun like game night, movie night or a midnight race.
- Prioritize your mental health. The holiday season is stressful and you may already feel emotionally spent. Set limits and carve out extra time to relax, recharge and focus on your mental wellbeing.
- Reward yourself for staying sober. Getting through New Year’s Eve without a slip-up or relapse is a milestone and you deserve recognition for your hard work. Treat yourself to a massage or new pair of running sneakers or a fancy dinner after the festivities are over.
Recovery in the New Year
If you’re finally ready to take the courageous step to get help for drug or alcohol addiction, there’s no better time than today to make the call. The programs and activities at our Southern Florida drug and alcohol rehab are designed to give each client the tools he or she needs to succeed at recovery. To learn more, call 888-267-8070.
Having the love and support of your family can be a true blessing on the road to long-term sobriety. After all, abusing drugs or alcohol can isolate you from the people you love and who truly care about you, too. Part of recovery, then, is learning to rebuild those relationships so you can have a positive support system in place. The stronger your family ties, the less risk of relapse while building a new, sober life.
Here are a few strategies that can help you grow closer together.
Share a meal. Taking a few moments out of your busy schedule to enjoy a meal with your family is a great way to spend quality time together. And, in fact, it’s the perfect setting to share stories and catch up. Schedule a standing dinner date each week and ask everyone to bring a dish so it’s not too overwhelming or too expensive.
Connect without being connected. You can’t really give your spouse or children undivided attention if you’re constantly checking your smart phone. By turning it on silent or putting it out of sight, you’ll show them that you are making them a priority.
Pick up the phone. Social media and text messaging has its perks but to develop a more meaningful relationship it’s often best to pick up the phone and give family members a call. There’s nothing quite like the sound of each other’s voice or laughter to feel connected.
Family Care at Synergy
When patients work with their families toward recovery, prognosis is greatly enhanced, according to research. At synergy we provide an intensive family care program to help you and your loved ones deal with addiction together. To learn more, call 888-267-8070.
It’s pretty safe to say that a bad day when you’re sober is better than a good one while in active addiction. Yet, unfortunately, this isn’t always enough to help you endure those truly horrible days that are inevitable during recovery. There are a few fairly simple steps you can take, however, to help you muddle through. First and foremost: Remind yourself that things can always be worse and that there are sunnier days ahead!
A few more tips to consider:
- Take a deep breath. Conscious breathing – or inhaling and exhaling deeply and slowly – can help calm you down and focus.
- Write it down. Putting problems down on paper can be mentally freeing. This simple exercise will help you pinpoint what exactly made your day so awful – whether a spat with a spouse or stressful therapy session, for example – so you can move past it.
- Walk out your frustrations. Clear your head and get those endorphins working by taking a brisk walk or long hike. Just being in nature can do wonders for putting things in perspective.
- Go on a cleaning spree. Some experts say that having outer order is a great way to find inner peace.
- Find a positive distraction. It’s okay to try to forget about your day – as long as you do it in a healthful way. Some ideas: read a book, watch a movie, meet a good friend, pop in a yoga DVD.
- Lean on others. Sometimes you just need a friend, loved one or sponsor to help talk you down from a bad day.
Mental Health Help at Synergy
Having co-occurring psychiatric disorders can make it that much harder to beat those bad days. Our dual diagnosis treatment gives clients the tools needed to sustain a healthy mind, body, and spirit during recovery and beyond. To learn more, call today: 888-267-8070.
Honesty is the best policy. Sounds very black and white. Once you have entered treatment there is no more grey when it comes to honesty. There is no point in lying. There is no benefit. Everyone losses when the addict enters treatment and continues to lie.
The addict will give many reasons why they feel that telling the truth does more harm than good–afraid they will hurt their family is the most common–, but the reality is that they are just trying to protect themselves. The truth is however, that a lack of honest means that recovery will never be achieved.
Until you are ready to be honest you are not really ready for recovery. Whether you used 6 bags a day or 12; it doesn’t matter. Whether you used 10 roxi’s a day or 15; it doesn’t matter. Continuing to deny that you hocked a family heirloom means that forgiveness will never come. With honesty comes forgiveness and with forgiveness comes starting over. It is when you and your family are ready to start over with a whole new clean state that recovery has a chance. That can never happen without honesty.
Perhaps most important if you can’t be honest with yourself then you can never face your demons it if you don’t face them—THEY WILL WIN. And you will lose!
They call us retreads which basically means that someone has been through treatment more than once without being successful through the different types of research suggesting that certain types of therapy and treatment can be more effective than others. From experience and being in recovery since 1987 I am what we call in the business a “retread” or someone that chronically relapses. I have gone through the best treatments in the world to the so called worse, including halfway houses and detox centers. My experience suggests to me that a multi modality treatment approach is the most effective however, is the aftercare component that plays a big role in the effectiveness of the treatment. There is a severe drop off in effectiveness.
Through research, we have learned that stepping a client slowly through a period of time is the most effective course of action, while continuing to attend self help group within the community, with people that can relate and can offer advise and suggestions. In my experience these are the individuals that are most likely to achieve long term recovery, yet the question still arises, why some get it and some don’t? People die, or go to prison or other institutions as a result of this disease. No one has an answer to this mysterious question, we as professionals must challenge ourselves to that question and seek the means necessary to find the answer to this question.
FOUNDER SYNERGY GROUP SERVICES