Holidays in general are time for joy and celebration with your loved ones. However, if you are in recovery, holiday times may trigger a relapse of substance or alcohol abuse. With Christmas around the corner and New Year fast approaching right behind it, many in recovery MUST have a plan in place to avoid relapsing back into old behaviors and habits. Here are 5 ways to avoid a holiday relapse.
1. Prepare Ahead Of Time
Prepare a recovery kit before joining your family’s festivities. Have your sponsor on speed dial and alert him or her that you might be calling for help during the family gathering. Have your reading materials easily accessed and have a meeting online on your tablet ready to login.
2. Map Out A Meeting Near Your Travel Destination
A meeting allows you to escape the old situations and broken dynamics that used to hold you hostage. Just tell them, “I’m going to a meeting and will be back later.” Then walk out. Don’t wait for a response.
3. Arrive Early. Leave Early.
Most often, drugs and alcohol use at any party become more prevalent as the party wears on. Do not worry that by leaving early you will offend the host. In most cases, they are too busy to notice who leaves when.
Bring your own beverage. This way, you have control over what you drink. Also, do not justify or explain your healthy new behavior. This invites push back and criticism.
5. Plan B
Always have a plan B. If you feel uncomfortable, or feel the pressure to use, ask a friend to text you and excuse yourself from the gathering. It is not the host’s responsibility to keep you sober or provide a trigger-free atmosphere. The responsibility lies on your shoulders, and you CAN do it.