The holiday season is upon us. Many are traveling to be with family while countless others gather with friends and significant others to celebrate the festive time of year. However, not everyone has a picturesque holiday experience.
The forces that could pull you into relapse tend to get stronger around the end of the year, when you’re likely to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and reconvene with people who who likely saw you during your addicted past. Now more than ever, it’s important to build up a support network to ensure you stick to your commitment.
Here are three reasons why you need to connect with a recovery community during the holidays.
1. It prevents isolation.
Staying connected to the recovery community can prevent isolation which is typically a precursor for relapse. Isolation can also worsen symptoms of any dual diagnosis such as depression, anxiety and other mood or personality disorders. All of these can escalate to relapse, accidental overdose or even suicide.
2. It provides a sense of family.
Staying in touch with the recovery community allows for a substitute family experience, if family holidays are not possible due to either death or distance. And, if family is an option, but the family dynamics make relapse more probably, the recovery community can act as a chosen family; one that is ideally far more supportive and less dysfunctional.
The recovery community is also equally as necessary for those who have families and enjoy being around them. In fact, possibly more so, as it is easy for those individuals to forget they need the recovery community or recovery itself. Often, these individuals begin to think that sobriety alone is enough—it’s not.
3. It keeps you active in recovery during the holidays.
Staying connected to the recovery community keeps you active in your recovery throughout the holiday season. It provides consistency and gentle reminders that relapse has nothing to do with having a dysfunctional family. It has to do with you. And, if you were an active addict with a picturesque family, then you could easily be in relapse with the same.
The key to getting through the holiday season is not to lose sight of your recovery. Staying connected to your recovery community keeps you plugged into that recovery process, holds you accountable and allows you to do the same for others. Most importantly, it serves as prevention against relapse and provides everyone with a sense of family, even if they don’t have one of their own.
For these reasons and more, staying connected to the recovery community throughout the holidays is a life-saving choice for everyone.