The holidays are a time for families to gather together to be thankful for their blessings and the loved ones around them, but not all families are like the ones portrayed in Norman Rockwell paintings. Many families have members who are struggling with a problem with addiction. The holidays can make some people want to escape or numb the pain with drugs or alcohol, and often they indulge even more. Many will drink excessively at holiday gatherings or show up under the influence of drugs.
In the first part of this series, we talked about how to prevent that family member from ruining gatherings before the events even occur. But we can’t always plan for everyone who attends, especially with family. Most family members will assume they are invited to the same events every year, so they will stop by even if they didn’t get a formal invitation.
Here are some ways to deal with the family member who shows up intoxicated or high, or who proceeds to get drunk during the course of the gathering. In the last post, we talked about Uncle Frank’s drinking problem. This time, let’s see how to deal with Aunt Mary, who always shows up after taking one too many prescription pain pills. For the best drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC, call Legacy Freedom!
If Aunt Mary causes a scene every year, then approach her when she walks through the door. Tell her you want to have a pleasant party this year and tell her you expect her to be on her best behavior. Ask her to be respectful of you and your family and tell her that you will do the same for her.
Keep an open mind.
If you have expressed to Aunt Mary that you didn’t appreciate her behavior in the past, maybe she will take it into consideration and act civilly this year. Give her the benefit of the doubt and don’t expect her to follow suit with last year’s events. She maybe willing to respect your wishes.
Think before reacting.
You may not be able to control other people’s behavior, but you can control how you react to it. Make a decision beforehand that if something bad happens, you will think before you react. You can either blow up at her in front of everyone and make the situation bigger and more volatile than it has to be, or you can quietly escort her to a private room until she calms down.
Be willing to do the extreme.
If things are not going well no matter how levelheaded you have stayed, you have every right to make Aunt Mary leave. She may not be able to drive herself home, but offer to take her or see if another family member will offer. She may have caused a scene that will be etched in your memory of the day, but she doesn’t have to ruin it completely.
Remember that the holidays are for you and your family to enjoy, too. If you are gracious enough to host an event, family should be respectful enough to not cause drama during it.
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Don’t let addiction to drinking or drugs take over your life. You can get help at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center. Our outpatient programs for drug and alcohol rehab in Wilmington NC makes it easy to get the help you need without having to take a leave of absence from school or your job. Call us today to find out how we’re different from other treatment centers. Our holistic approach means that we consider all aspects of your recovery. We have a variety of therapy programs to meet your individual needs. An admissions counselor is waiting to hear from you.