The Thanksgiving holiday is a challenge for addicts who are newly sober and for those who are forced to endure the behavior of an addicted loved one at family events. Being able to enjoy the day with loved ones can be difficult when you are plagued with anxiety over the addict's temperament or their next move. Planning ahead for the event and anticipating how you and other family members will handle the addict and their unpredictable behavior can help your Thanksgiving holiday run a little smoother this year. Here are some ways that you can avoid disaster and have a Happy Thanksgiving. If you have a family member battling addiction, call Legacy Freedom. We're one of the best substance abuse treatment centers in Raleigh NC.
Get Everyone on the Same Page: Discuss with family members beforehand what is and is not acceptable behavior at the family Thanksgiving gathering. Setting boundaries and establishing rules for the addict's behavior ensures that everyone is on the same page and is aware of what will not be tolerated. Clear and established boundaries help all family members know what to expect and ensures that there will be no surprises should it become necessary to ask the addict to leave the gathering or turn them away at the door. These boundaries should be discussed ahead of the event and should be simple, to the point, and easy to enforce.
Set and Stick to Your Boundaries: Once the family has agreed to the rules, you must stick to them. These rules can be as specific as requiring the addict to show up on time, being dressed and groomed appropriately, and being sober. You can specify that they may not smell like alcohol or act like they are high or drunk. If the addict lives where the gathering is taking place, you can state that they will not be allowed in the area where the family is until the event is over if they don't follow the guidelines. You can request that they refrain from outbursts of anger and attention seeking behaviors.
Talk with the Addict: Discussing your expectations with the addict can be tricky. Avoid the temptation to discuss how the addict has negatively impacted family events in the past. Instead, establish the agreed upon boundaries and consequences for crossing these limitations with the addict so that he or she cannot claim ignorance of them later.
Enforce the Boundaries: Don't give in to the pressures of other family members or give in just because it's the holidays. These boundaries were set and agreed to by family members in order for everyone to have an enjoyable holiday experience. Don't let the addict spin an excuse or manipulate you so that they can still participate without living up to their end of the bargain.
Make the Addict Take Responsibility: If the addict tries to argue against the boundaries agreed to by family members be ready with a response that lets them know that you are sad that they won't be joining you for the holiday but that it is their choice not to adhere to the rules. This takes all blame away from you and forces the addict to take responsibility for their actions. Get them help at one of the best substance abuse treatment centers in Raleigh NC. Call Legacy for more information.
Now that you have set the boundaries for the addict and made sure that all key family members are aware of the expectations for the day, it is essential to discuss the expectations that everyone should have regarding involving the addict in the Thanksgiving celebration.
Be Realistic: Addicts are master manipulators. They will look for ways to get what they want while giving you the impression they are playing by the rules. Examples include coming to the event sober, but getting drunk once they arrive or pressuring a family member into giving them money so that they can score after the event. Addiction can make your loved ones act in ways that are less than forthcoming and may leave you feeling disappointed.
Check Your Expectations: As exciting as it might be to have the entire family together, try to keep your jubilation to a minimum. Keeping the expectations low and the firm boundaries in mind will help everyone get through the day with minimal heartache.
Don't Blame Yourself: If the addict is unable to meet the conditions to join the family for the Thanksgiving meal or causes a scene and must be asked to leave, remember that this says more about them and their disease than it does about you. Their failure to stay sober for the day or to play by the rules isn't an affront to you; it is the nature of their addiction and a statement to where they are at this time.
Boundaries and expectations are difficult to manage, especially at the holidays. However, outlining what is and is not acceptable at the family gathering and sticking to it is crucial. You and your loved ones deserve to enjoy the day without the added drama and theatrics of an addicted loved one who can't abide by the boundaries the family has agreed to. Standing your ground may be difficult, but it will help you enjoy the day and may serve as a valuable wakeup call for your loved one.
Top Substance Abuse Treatment Centers in Raleigh NC For The Holidays
If you are struggling with addiction, know that Legacy Freedom is one of the top substance abuse treatment centers in Raleigh NC. Our unique approach to substance addiction can help. We are not a 12 step program. We offer a combination of therapies that provide a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment.
For those who struggle with an opioid addiction, Legacy Freedom of Raleigh is proud to offer Medication Assisted Therapy in conjunction with our holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. Our care team has found that utilizing suboxone to help you break free of your opiate addiction while participating in traditional talk therapy and alternative therapies like tai chi and equine assisted therapy has proven successful for hundreds of our clients.
We also offer a holistic approach that combines traditional talk therapy in both a one-on-one setting and a group therapy setting. This helps you focus on getting to the root of your addiction, find the support you need from your peers, and gives you access to our extensive list of alternative therapy options.
Stop letting your addiction control your life. Connect with Legacy Freedom today!