Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. 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 the past twelve months and perhaps reconvene with people 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.
Even if you can't be with loved ones in person this year, you can be in touch over the phone, Facetime, or video meeting (try Zoom, Skype, Facebook Messenger). Remember, too, there are online communities dedicated to those in recovery. To meet others who have recovered or who are going through the same things as you, you can try our addiction recovery forum, by clicking "forums" above.
Importantly, you can also attend AA online now, so as we head into the holiday season, be sure to find a recovery community you can connect with.
Here are three reasons to connect with a recovery community during the holidays.
1. A recovery community prevents isolation
This year especially, connecting with others may be difficult. Yet staying connected to a recovery community can prevent isolation which is typically a precursor for relapse. Isolation can 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 a 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 probable, a recovery community can act as a chosen family; one that is ideally far more supportive and less dysfunctional.
A recovery community is also equally 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 a 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 a 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 you don’t have one of your own.
For these reasons and more, staying connected to a recovery community throughout the holidays is a life-saving choice for everyone.