The holidays can feel like an awfully lonely time for those who are in recovery. You might be surrounded by loved ones; friends and co-workers at all sorts of social events but still feel a sense of loneliness. Part of your perceived seclusion can be attributed to the fact that you are in the midst of a dramatic life change that most others can’t relate to. It can also be because others consume alcohol during holiday events while you continue your sober living and quest for personal growth. If this sounds like you, keep reading to find out how you can put those lonely feelings behind you and enjoy the holidays.
Define the Real Problem
Plenty of individuals in recovery experience feelings of loneliness around the holidays even though they have loving friends and family around them. The problem is not a lack of company, but a lack of genuine connections. For some, the solution is to search out others who value sober living. For others, the answer is to find new social circles with individuals who share common interests outside of imbibing alcohol and other drugs. It is critical that you determine what the actual reason for your loneliness is. Once you have pinpointed the core of the problem, you can work on developing genuine connections with others while marching forth with your recovery.
Strive to Establish Fellowship with Others in Recovery
One of the best ways to eliminate your feelings of loneliness around the holidays is to aim for fellowship in recovery. Those who can forge bonds with others who value sober living will enjoy a meaningful life free of substance abuse. Fellowship in recovery provides key social support functions that every former substance abuser can benefit from. Consider joining a 12 Step group to find people with similar life paths. After all, it is often counterproductive to be around substance abusers, especially during the holidays when the alcohol flows freely. Instead, reach out to groups that provide support to those in recovery. You’ll establish meaningful bonds that just might last a lifetime. Even if these relationships do not stand the test of time, they will certainly alleviate your holiday loneliness.
A Sponsor Might be the Solution to Your Problem
In some instances, a sponsor will provide essential support to your quest for sober living. Sponsors are highly experienced individuals in recovery programs who make themselves available to those attempting to break free from substance abuse addiction. If you ever feel lonely even in the slightest during the holiday months, reach out to your sponsor for a conversation, meeting or social outing. He or she just might provide the support and common ground you need to keep your spirits up during the holidays.