Another holiday weekend is upon us, and for those working a program of recovery, it is vital that steps are taken to avoid complications. While Passover and Easter may not be super important to everyone, for many people this is an essential time for observance. Just because you do not associate a holiday with heavy alcohol use, it doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. After all, any holiday that involves spending time with family, both being around loved ones, and not, can result in several emotions rising from within you. Coping with your feelings in constructive ways can make all the difference, especially if long-term recovery is your goal.
It is vital that you do not discount the power of emotions. A considerable number of people in early recovery have not yet regained the trust and confidence of their friends and family; which means that some of you may not spend time with loved ones this weekend. Disliking your current reality is OK, natural even, but it should not be cause for behaving in ways that will not benefit your recovery. Remember, the program gives us tools for managing uncomfortable feelings; instead of dwelling on deficiencies in your life, double your efforts in recovery. You are not alone, your program, support network, and the fellowship are always available to assist you with any obstacle. Significant holidays easily qualify as a potential barrier to progress.
Hopefully, you have already begun planning your drug and alcohol-free weekend. If not, take some time today to start planning how you will navigate the coming days without doing anything that could jeopardize all your hard work.
Utilizing Your Support Network in Recovery
Those of you who have plans to spend time with close friends and family this weekend must also make time for your program. No matter what, recovery comes before anything else for the simple reason that without your program nothing beneficial is possible. Getting to a meeting before and after family gatherings is a surefire way to avoid the trappings of alcohol and substance use. The “meeting before” grounds you, allowing you to proceed with your plans with focus; the “meeting after” can act as a decompression chamber sparing you of the familial “bends.” Feelings can quickly arise without you knowing it when in the company of family, left unchecked, “stinking thinking” ensues. Processing your feeling with your support network protects against relapse.
Anyone who doesn’t have a holiday agenda this weekend would be wise to stay close to your “recovery family;” the people who you sit next to you every week in meetings. It doesn’t matter how you refer to such people—friends, peers, or acquaintances—they have a vested interest in your wellbeing. What’s more, some of the individuals in your inner-recovery circle might need your assistance over the weekend; being there for them, and vice versa can significantly strengthen your program. Never downplay the vital role you play in other people’s lives, recovery is inextricably linked with being of service to others. Call the people in your support network and lock down plans for safely traversing the holiday weekend.
Making a schedule of meetings, you plan to attend is crucial. Keep to your plan as best you can and it far less likely you will encounter problems. If you get into a risky situation, make a phone call or get to a meeting ASAP. The dedicated staff of Synergy Group Services would like to wish everyone a safe and sober holiday.
If you are struggling with alcohol or substance use disorder, please contact Synergy today to discuss your treatment options. Lasting recovery is possible, and the healing process starts with reaching out for help.
With Thanksgiving only a week away, it is time for people in recovery to begin thinking about what their day will look like. Holidays can be quite difficult for people in recovery, especially those who are new to the program. A lot of feelings and memories can arise, which can be hard to work through. It is ever important to stay connected with one’s support network and keep to the normal routine as much as possible.
For whatever reason, people in recovery tend to look at the holidays as being somehow different than the other days of the year. Fortunately, that is not the case! The tools of recovery work 365 days a year – vacations and holidays are no exception.
It is important to remember that you are not alone, many people in recovery struggle during the holidays; but, it is possible, together, to get through the day without picking up a drink or drug. Having a list of phone numbers you can call, no matter the reason, can save one’s recovery. If you find yourself in a recovery threatening situation, pick up the phone and call your sponsor; a simple phone call can break the kind of thinking that may be leading to relapse. If for some reason your sponsor doesn’t answer, leave a message, and immediately call the next person on your recovery support list – someone will answer.
It is important to attend your “home group” during a holiday, making yourself present will help reaffirm your place in the community. People in recovery draw strength from each other, even if you are not struggling you may be able to help someone who is having hard time.
Here are several tips you can use to help you over the holiday:
- Plan Out Your Day Ahead of Time: Having a plan laid out will minimize the chances of finding yourself in a risky situation.
- Get To A Meeting: Over the course of the day, there are meetings happening at the top of every hour.
- Volunteer: Recovery events are always held during the major holidays, offering to help out is a sure way to get out of your head.
- Remember H.A.L.T (Hungry.Angry.Lonely.Tired): Be conscious of how you are feeling, if any of the aforementioned feelings arise – take action!
- Support: Make sure to leave the house with your cell phone. If you don’t have one, carry a list of phone numbers you can call for support.
Synergy Group Services would like to wish everyone a safe and sober holiday!
At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.