Give Yourself the Gift of Getting Well
The holidays are here, and you’re feeling tapped out, used up and really tired of living life in a haze. What would it look like to give yourself the gift of heading to treatment during the holidays? Whether your vice is drugs or alcohol, addiction may feel particularly draining at the holidays when confronted with the celebratory cheer of everyone around you and the weight of expectation that doesn’t feel authentic. You know that you can’t keep living like this, but what can you do? It may seem like the right move for your future—heading to treatment during the holidays—but you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to recovery now during such a busy time.
We get it; it’s really hard to say yes to getting well now with so much going on. We even get that getting sober isn’t inherently wellness, but it’s certainly a step closer. If you’re already thinking about it, it’s time to give yourself the incredible gift of beginning your healing journey now.
Why You Need the Gift of Now
Setting goals for getting sober or recommitting to your recovery may feel best tied to big occasions like New Year’s Eve, but there’s no need to wait for the accountability of a fresh start. “Tomorrow” is the easiest day to begin because it never comes. With that vague sense of eventuality, it’s easy to keep pushing it off, or in the case of the holiday season, use the looming deadline to engage in reckless indulgence.
By setting a date off into the future, after the inconvenience of navigating holidays has passed, you’re undermining not only your commitment but setting yourself up for those risks that you could mitigate with a commitment to your healing journey now. Heading to treatment during the holidays should be seen as a gift to yourself, not a burden.
If You’re Feeling Afraid of Heading to Treatment During the Holidays
Often we experience a very real and heavy fear associated with starting something new. Although it’s our tendency to procrastinate in response to our fears, this is all the more reason to head to treatment during the holidays instead of waiting for a new year. Why taint your fresh start with old habits and fear? If the desire to get sober is already lingering in your mind and the possibility of actually acting on it feels paralyzing, take away the risk of letting it grow larger in your mind.
Addiction statistics are scary, but consider yourself a pioneer for a fresh start. You have what it takes to be one of the few who make it. Your capability doesn’t depend on drink or success. Instead, your healing journey relies on your ability to commit to your recovery consistently. Take a giant leap past the hesitation of heading to treatment during the holidays and fear of firsts, and give yourself that commitment today. There is no better gift.
Party Preparation Your Way
When you’re using, you don’t have the luxury of being in the driver’s seat 100% of the time. The shape of your choices often mimics the power of your impulses, and addiction can drive those for you more often than you’d like. By choosing to get well now, moving toward recovery puts the party preparation back on track to be your choice entirely.
You may feel temptation, frustration or obligation to take part in festivities that are counterproductive to your wellness, but the commitment you make now will help you to be ready to react to those before they happen. If you’re feeling anxious about the requests you may encounter that could tempt you away from your healing journey, consider preparing a script to avoid being caught off guard.
If you experience the pressure to take part in drinking, try saying:
“No, thank you, I’m not drinking tonight.”
A firm boundary can stop further requests without becoming a conversation about your recovery if you’re not ready for that. If they ask for further clarification, you don’t have to provide it. Feel free just to repeat your boundary or remove yourself from the conversation.
“Not even top-shelf liquor is better than (insert your favorite dish or drink)!”
Centering the conversation on something you do want to do with a bit of humor or even a compliment paid to whoever prepared the noshing could refocus the conversation – and your frustration.
“I’d love a drink! How about a (water, soda, coffee)?”
You don’t have to decline the offer! Feel free to take part by opting for the sober options that still taste good and make you feel a part of the celebration.
Remember that you are in control of the situation when you are sober. Even if it becomes uncomfortable, you retain your power to make a change. When you’re nervous, consider asking someone you trust to be your party pal to tag along for support. If you’re going it solo, remember that you can remove yourself if you feel uncomfortable in a situation.
Heading to Treatment During the Holidays
Heading to treatment during the holidays can be exactly what you need to end the year with success. By engaging in a positive new relationship with recovery, you can begin the New Year prepared with a plan that you know will work.
Take charge of your wellness today so that you can start identifying the things that don’t work for you as much as the things that do. If you recognize that parties are hard for you because you feel isolated, you can reach out for group support. Maybe you’re seeing that you feel most tempted to relapse when you’re bored and need the structure of a group or solo activity like yoga or art class. Promises Behavioral Health Center offers all of these options, and the more you give yourself the time to recognize what you need, the sooner we can get you aligned with the program that feels best for you.
Wealth in Wellness
While being sober does not inherently mean you will be well, it will no doubt contribute to a sense of determination to take charge of the future you’ve created. You may be experiencing some anger or frustration at this foreign way of life, and that’s perfectly understandable.
Consider creating a list of things you’d like to address that you can work toward in the New Year so you can make some use of that fresh start you were so tempted to hold out for without waiting for the beauty of gifting yourself your sobriety now.
The holidays are the perfect time to find places to put the money you spend on substance, as gifts and occasions often require financial support. When you first become sober, you may be looking at that money, knowing that you could spend it on a six-pack, a night out or another ounce.
Give your drinking money a purpose that feels good and removes the difference in your finances. Commit those funds to making this a giving year twice over by giving yourself a sober relationship with this festive season while making someone you love feel your gratitude for their friendship.
Ready or Not…
It’s alright if you’re not feeling ready to begin today. We all need a little push or motivation to move past the reservations we hold when we do something difficult. Make no mistake, what you’re considering is possibly the hardest and bravest thing you’ll ever do.
No one expects you to do this alone. When you’re ready (or not), talk to someone you trust about the things you’re feeling. Show them this article and open a dialog about the benefit of now. Your new relationship with your old habits is a gift, but it will not be one without flaws. Acknowledging those will empower your ability to overcome them.
Your ability to transcend this discomfort is already here. You’re already thinking about it and, while it won’t be easy to start your recovery during the holidays, it’s definitely going to be worth it. It’s time to take the first step toward making this your first sober holiday season so we can ensure you have many more to come.
We’ll Be Right Here, No Matter Where You Are
During the holiday season, we spend a lot of time traveling. Not just our physical bodies but through emotions and experiences, we’re having now. And in the nostalgic memories that so often rear their heads in these times. Instead of drowning the constant effort of those feelings along with your sobriety, let your recovery take the lead so you can create healing. Break the cycle of numbness and regret that tainted your holidays in the past.
Whether you’re ready to start right now or you just want to start the conversation, there’s something you can do today.