While most people’s worries don’t range outside of how to cook a turkey for the first time or how to get all the holiday shopping done, you are stuck wondering how to help your loved one through the holidays. The holiday season is supposed to be a time of celebration and happiness, but for the addicted family unit, it is a time that brings up feelings of resentment, loneliness, and frustration. There is an overwhelming pressure to feel good, look good, and be happy and in love, simply because ‘tis the season. There is no room for addiction during the holidays and the fact that you have to deal with it while everyone else is so seemingly happy and carefree – it’s just not fair, is it?
This train of thought is completely understandable, but if you want to try to help your loved one through the holidays, a shift in perspective may be in order.
When the stress of the holidays combines with drugs, alcohol, and family issues, it makes for the perfect storm. While you can’t ignore or avoid a big storm, you can prepare for it. Accepting your family’s situation for what it is instead of mulling over the unfairness of it is the best mindset to begin a path to recovery for your loved one as well as yourself.
Talk About What the Addicts Needs
The holidays can be a very trigger-filled time for addicts. Before the holiday arrives, ask your loved one how they are feeling about it. Are they excited? What are they looking forward to? Are they scared? How can you help them? They may need to avoid certain people, leave parties early, or steer clear of memories that can potentially set them off on a path of destruction. You may even find that simply asking them what they need will create a sense of safety for them, and will make them feel better about attending family functions during the holidays.
Avoid Confrontation in Recovery
For most families, the holidays are the one time during the year that everyone gets together in the same room to share a meal together. While every addict differs in what they need to reach and maintain recovery, blaming or pointing out other’s mistakes and shortcomings is not helpful to the addict, for you, or for your relationship.
Don’t Forget About You
The best way you can help your loved one through the holidays, is to take care of yourself first. When you allow your life and needs go to the wayside, you aren’t setting a good example for your loved one. Instead, you are saying it’s okay for them to lean on you – and it is okay – just not all the time. They need to know how to stand strong on their own and the only way they will believe that they can, is if you believe, too. Keep in mind: how can you help them be their best self when you aren’t your best self?
Do you need more info on how to help your loved one through the holiday season? If you or someone you love needs help with their addiction or recovery, our compassionate recovery addiction specialists are here to help. Call us today 1 (877) 968-6283 to take the next step toward a meaningful sober life.