The holiday season can be a challenging one when you’re going through recovery. This time of year is a busy one, and it’s also an extremely emotional one for many people. If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety over social expectations, or feelings of loneliness during the holidays, getting support from family can be an enormous help as you work toward sober living.
Families Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Spending the holidays with family doesn’t always mean gathering around the dinner table with mom, dad, siblings and other relatives. The word “family” can be used to describe any group of people that you feel close to. Whether that’s one parent or a group of close friends, your family consists of those who are closest to your heart. These people can provide you with the emotional support you need during this hectic season. When you gather with family, you should feel loved and welcomed no matter what you’re going through. Regardless of who you consider family, these are the people who can make the holiday season a happy one for you despite your struggles.
Closing the Distance
If the people you’re closest to live far away, try to make travel plans to see them over the holidays if possible. If you’re unable to do that, stay in touch with them in other ways. Use video chat software to see and talk to them, or spend time chatting with them on the phone so you can at least hear their voices. You can also keep in touch with them through social media or by sending a heartfelt, handwritten card.
Be Realistic About Expectations
Now that you’re going through a 12-step recovery program, you might think that the holidays will be joyful occasions, but it’s important to be realistic about your expectations. Even though you’re working toward a sober living goal, things that have happened in the past that might have created distance between you and your family can come up. These events might cause some friction in the present, so try to be patient and understanding when you’re with family. Keep in mind that your family might have certain expectations about you and your behavior as well. They might expect you to feel cheerful all the time during the holidays, but it’s common to go through different emotions when you’re recovering from addiction. Instead of hiding your feelings, turning to compassionate family members can help you cope with these emotions.