Let’s face it. The holidays are all about excess. Lights, colors, gifts, travel, parties, food, drink, and celebration. Sometimes there is an unspoken pressure on those in recovery, or just non-drinkers in general, to join the fun by imbibing with the crowd, as if they cannot possibly be having fun without it. This is one of the reasons why the holidays are difficult for people with addictions.
Review Your Triggers
As part of your recovery, you have probably already identified and discussed your triggers with counselors, medical professionals, and perhaps even in group sessions. When dealing with addictions during the holidays, you should take time to revisit your triggers, particularly the ones related to holiday events.
Memories of holidays past, both good and bad, can create an urge to revisit your substance use. People and places can remind you of why you started using in the first place, and the stress of that can make you want to use once again in order to avoid those negative feelings.
Now that you have thought about the possible triggers you may encounter, it is time to develop an action plan. Go through scenarios that could occur, and come up with strategies of what to do or say.
Some other ways that you can prepare yourself in advance include:
- Establishing texting therapy
- Having a confidant/support person with you
- Choosing safe places if you need space
The holidays can be a stressful time for many people. If your days become overwhelming during this time, do not hesitate to reach out to your medical professional teammates before you reach for that addicting substance.
Georgetown Behavioral is available 24/7 to provide initial or interim assessments and to help determine your next best step. Our facilities and services in Austin, TX are available to help you handle addictions during the holidays.