The holiday season is supposed to be a joyous celebration of the things that make people happy, such as family, friendship, and togetherness. It is meant to be a time when people make good memories, but all too often the festivities are also a trigger for those who are recovering from alcohol addiction. Dealing with travel, family reunions, and preparations for social events can be overwhelming, and people who are unable to visit their loved ones can often feel isolated and depressed. Add to this the fact that the darker days and longer nights can negatively affect a person’s mental health, and it’s no surprise that the holidays and alcoholism often go hand in hand.
If you have gone through alcohol addiction treatment and are finding it difficult to handle the holidays, you are not alone. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we offer a full continuum of care from detox to aftercare. We understand that transitioning back into everyday life can be challenging. We have aftercare plans to help our clients avoid relapse and work toward their goals with consistent support and a focus on 12-step programs. In addition, we offer a wide spectrum of addiction treatment options to help those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction recover from their substance abuse. You can contact us at any time by calling us at , even during the holidays.
Recovery Challenges During the Holidays
It’s always a good idea to be mindful of the types of triggers and stressors that can put you at risk of relapsing. However, during the holidays, these types of triggers may be even more widespread than usual. Most holiday parties and get-togethers are typically overloaded with alcohol. While it’s impossible to fully control the circumstances in which you find yourself, you usually can take the time to prepare yourself for these situations since you know well in advance when they will happen. You can prepare techniques and tools to handle:
- Uncomfortable or awkward family or social interactions
- Increased stress and pressure
- The absence of your usual support network, if you’re traveling
- The presence of alcohol
Useful Tips for a Recovering Alcoholic During the Holidays
While the holidays are a challenge for everyone, they don’t have to mean relapsing. Planning ahead a little can give you the edge and allow you to safely distance yourself from risky situations, which can give you some peace of mind.
Have a Canned Response
There’s no way around it, alcohol is a part of holiday celebrations. Acquaintances may not know or realize that you are in recovery, and it’s common for there to be a barrage of invitations to drink. There may also be people who ask why you aren’t drinking. The best way to deal with these offers and questions is to have a simple, definitive answer. Longer explanations give more leeway into drinking just once. Some examples include:
- “I’m not drinking tonight”
- “I just want non-alcoholic drinks”
- “I have an early start tomorrow”
Bring a Friend
You may find it useful to bring a friend who knows that you’re in recovery and can watch out for you during events. This is a great option as your friend can hold you accountable for your actions. Just be sure to discuss your concerns with them ahead of time, and make a concrete, actionable plan in case you find yourself tempted to drink.
Search for Support in Your Area
If you’re traveling for the holidays, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the holiday season if you feel as though you have no one to support you. Luckily, there are often addiction treatment centers in most cities, and you can do some research before you travel to find a center with support group meetings even during the holidays. Even if you aren’t traveling, many support groups will have their own holiday parties that highlight the fellowship and gratitude that are a vital part of living in recovery. You may come out of the holidays even stronger and more resilient than you were before.
Maintain Your Sobriety With San Antonio Recovery Center
If you are struggling with alcoholism and the holidays, our addiction specialists at San Antonio Recovery Center are ready to give you the support you need to stay sober. Our treatment programs are founded on the principles of the 12 steps, and continuing to attend meetings in recovery can give you the structure you need to abstain from alcohol use after treatment. In addition to our alcohol addiction treatment program, we offer:
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Medication-assisted treatment
- 90-day treatment programs
Our mix of holistic and evidence-based treatments means we can find a treatment program to suit almost every individual’s specific needs. Reach out to San Antonio Recovery Center today at to begin your recovery.