Doing the Holidays In Recovery

by baladmin | November 10, 2015

The holidays can be a stressful time of year for all families, but especially for those affected by alcohol and drug addiction. Often there are many unresolved wounds that come up when engaging with one another. When it comes to the holidays it’s important to remember that everyone who shows up wants to build connection in some shape or form. However, the journey to building connections and/or repairing them isn’t an easy one.

Try to think of the holidays as a windy road trip up the coast to Big Sur. Big Sur is magnificent. It has the highest coastal mountains along the coast of the Western Hemisphere, but the windy road getting there can make some dizzy and nauseous. Remember that everyone who gathers on a holiday has shown up to go on the swerving road of human connection. They too may be feeling uncomfortable. These tips are your brown paper bag to help you breathe through the hard parts of the journey…

Show Caution Upon Approach – If simply thinking about the person you’re going to see makes you angry, resentful or annoyed talk to a therapist before your visit. Share about how the persons behaviors have hurt you. This is an opportunity for you to express the hurt and anger you feel, in a constructive manner. Doing so may better help you understand what triggers you about the person and how to handle that trigger in a healthy way, rather than by doing something you may regret.

Go Slow – Pain from the past takes time to heal. When it’s time to see your family face-to-face, it’s natural to feel waves of emotion. Try to be aware that the other person may be struggling in the same way. Go slow by discussing neutral subjects like the weather and similar interests you may have.

Focus -When someone becomes irritating try to keep your cool by focusing on the positive attributes in them. Ask them about their hopes and dreams and encourage them.

Watch the Time – Spending time with family can be stressful to the mind and body.You may consider keeping your visit short and sweet. If not, take time between conversations to go for a run or take a nap. Time to regroup is important. 

Take a Pit Stop – No matter where you’re traveling to over the holidays consider tagging a pit stop onto your visit. If you’re visiting us here in So Cal stop by the Getty Museum, and if you’re ready for a winding adventure, take that amazing journey up north to Big Sur.

Balboa Horizons enjoys reconnecting our clients with their families. One way we do this is through our Family Week program. To learn more about the addiction treatment we offer, call us at (866) 316-4012.