The holidays are a challenging time for people in recovery. Family obligations and stress arise, resentments and disappointments might feel heavier during this season and some people wait until after the holidays to seek treatment or help. It is always a good time to ask for help.
November and December are perfect months to seek treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. They are two of the most stressful months for many people and treatment may afford time away to process the challenges from the outside world. Some of these may include:
- Time off from work is easier to manage at the holidays
- When past precedents are set around addiction, family may have resentment or lowered expectations about what to expect around the holidays from relatives with addiction. Seeking treatment may create a sense of hope and peace going forward and be seen in a more positive light.
- Eating disorders are particularly challenging during the holiday season with snacks, treats, desserts and other food available from November through the new year. Holiday functions seem to revolve around eating and drinking mostly unhealthy foods which may create triggers and stress.
- Treatment is a safe space away from obligations, triggers, and negative associations which might make recovery more difficult.
There is no time like the present to do what needs to be done. Many people put off seeking treatment until after the holidays to enjoy one last hurrah or to spend time enjoying themselves which only delays the inevitable. Recovery is a process which is ongoing. Treatment affords a safe, comfortable space to address underlying issues related to addiction and brings hope to many who choose that path. It is not something to dread, rather, addiction itself should be more feared for the negative consequences it has on family, friends and a person’s overall sense of wellbeing.
Memories are powerful, particularly focused around the holidays. For some, there are negative feelings and past experiences which weigh down any holiday cheer. In treatment, and recovery, peer support is available to help cope. Building a meaningful start to the new year by choosing treatment and recovery will always serve as a powerful reminder as to the power of making positive, affirming and healthy choices to last many holidays to come.