The Christmas season can be hard for someone in recovery. It’s a time for lots of festive parties and lots of overindulgence. For someone in recovery, it can be even more stressful because turning to alcohol or drugs to relax isn’t an option. But you don’t have to go into hiding during the holidays in order to avoid the stress and possibility of relapse triggers. You can learn to successfully navigate the holidays and come out on the other side stronger in your recovery.
First, let’s take a look at some warning signs that you may be headed toward a relapse. Then, we’ll give you tips on how to avoid it. If you have more questions about avoiding relapses all year long, call Legacy Freedom. Our Raleigh NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment center offers many holistic therapies to beat addiction.
Signs of relapse
If you’re in recovery, you may always have the thought of a relapse in the back of your mind. No matter how many days you’ve been sober, damaging the work you’ve done is probably a fear you have. There are warning signs that can signal you may be headed down the wrong path.
When you were in treatment, you probably made changes in order to break bad habits and negative behaviors. Sometimes, if we don’t continue to work on the positive behaviors, we can slip back into old ways. The holidays can make it even more difficult to stay on track. For a recovering addict, the pressure of the holidays can lead to a relapse. It’s important to keep yourself in check so that you can catch yourself before you relapse.
Here are some warning signs to look for:
1. You begin to think fondly of drinking or doing drugs over the holidays. You may think you are missing out by not being able to have drinks with friends at a Christmas party. You may feel like you shouldn’t even go because you can’t celebrate the way you used to.
2. You’re around people you used to drink or do drugs with. During the holidays, you may see family or friends that you haven’t been around sober. It can be hard to explain that you don’t do those things anymore, and you may feel pressure from them if they don’t fully understand your struggles. If you’re able to bring a sober friend along, it may help ease some of the pressure you might feel to indulge in those things again.
3. You start to let things slide. When you were in recovery, you probably learned techniques to keep you on track. You may be applying them in all aspects of your life, but when the holidays approach, things tend to go out the window. Your schedule may be different and busier. It can be easy to forget to stay on track with going to group therapy, keeping up with your mentor, or just taking time to re-evaluate how you are doing in your recovery.
4. You think just one won’t hurt. If you’ve gotten to the point where you think you can have one drink or take one hit and you will be okay, then you’re definitely headed toward relapse. The holidays are not an excuse to have one drink or pick up your drug of choice. You have to remember that doing it one time could set you back months or even years, depending on how long you have been sober. The holidays will be over soon, and you don’t want to start the new year having to begin recovery again.
If you feel you are headed toward a relapse because of the upcoming holidays, call us at Legacy Freedom. Our Raleigh NC alcohol rehab and drug treatment center can help you through this time. We have trained counselors ready to help you make it to the new year sober. Read on to learn some techniques that may help during this stressful time of year.
How to avoid relapse
Christmas can be stressful for almost anyone, unless you pack up and head for the Caribbean until the New Year. The best way to manage it is to identify stressful situations beforehand and decide how you’re going to handle them.
Here are some tips for avoiding the Christmas relapse:
1. As a recovering addict, you should know your triggers. While avoiding them may seem like the easiest way to keep yourself in check, you can’t always stay away from the things that cause you stress. If you don’t like decorating the house and would love to have a bottle of wine before attempting it, keep it simple this year. If there is a party you aren’t looking forward to, don’t go.
2. Most holiday parties involve drinking, so if there is no way to get out of going, or if it’s an event you really want to attend, offer to be the designated driver. Sometimes it’s hard to deal with questions about why you’re not drinking, so this is an easy out. You’re the driver so you can’t drink.
3. Take care of yourself. Don’t let the holidays get you so stressed that you want a drink or you want to take a drug to relax. Be proactive and plan ahead to get a massage or go to the movies alone or do something that will let you get some peace and quiet.
4. Use HALT. Many recovering addicts use this acronym as a way to remind themselves to not get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. These are all factors that can lead to relapse. The holiday season is generally busy, so it’s easy to forget to take care of even basic needs. Keep HALT in mind when you’re planning for the season.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask your mentor or members of your support group for additional help during this time of year. They probably need it, too. See if you can have extra meetings, or see if your mentor is willing to call to check in on you.
Affordable Raleigh NC Alcohol Rehab and Drug Treatment | Legacy Freedom
Is your family troubled because of a loved one’s substance abuse problem? Call Legacy Freedom. We can help you get the support you need. An admissions counselor is waiting to talk with you about substance abuse. We offer customized treatment plans that meet your recovery needs. The programs for drug rehab that benefit you may not work for someone else. Our treatment options include alternative therapies, like aromatherapy, that other places don’t offer. You won’t find a more comprehensive Raleigh NC alcohol rehab center. Call us today to learn more.