Holiday Relapse Prevention for Addiction Recovery and Treatment

Staying Straight And Sober

When it comes to the holiday season, most of us will agree that there is a lot of anticipation and anxiety before, during, and after the season ends. For many people, the holiday season is a big deal, a time to look forward to, and a time to celebrate. And, with all this joyful celebration usually comes alcohol abuse, substance abuse, partying, and out-of-control behaviors.

The holiday season can be difficult for all types of people for many different reasons, but most of all, for addicts. There is not only a lot of joy going around during this period but there is also a lot of pain.

The holiday season is a time for many people to lose sight of their morals, values, and their sobriety, and this is where the problem truly begins.


The Holiday Season Is Full of Emotions

To be fair, many people have a great time during the holidays while spending time with loved ones, and without needing to indulge in self-destructive or addictive behaviors. They visit with their family members and friends and connect with their loved ones intimately and wonderfully.

But, there are many other people who find the holiday season a mixture of not only good emotions but bad and conflicting feelings as well.

Family dynamics can sometimes turn quite sour during the holidays, and close relationships tend to get heated due to so much celebration and closeness.

For those who are prone to addiction and for those who are driven to drink, use drugs, party too much and engage in addictive behaviors, the holiday season can indeed bring out the worst in them.


Loneliness During the Holidays

Aside from all the partying and celebrating, there are certain people who find the holiday season devastating.

These people might find themselves alone during the holidays without friends to hang around with or anyone to talk to. Perhaps, they recently got a divorce, or they lost their job, or they might be dealing with the passing of a loved one or feeling mentally unwell.

Whatever it is, there is a large group of people who find themselves incredibly depressed during the holiday season, and this number is growing more every year.

The biggest problem with loneliness and depression during the holidays is that this is when some people, especially those prone to addiction, find it the most challenging time to stay sober. They are left alone with their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and this sometimes ends up making them feel negatively triggered.

With so much emotion, so many feelings and despair, they might need something to take the edge off and this is when their sobriety starts to take a nosedive.

Neutrality Is the Secret To Addiction Recovery

The holiday season is not a neutral time for anyone, and the struggle for those who are in addiction recovery is that they need neutrality as much as possible or else they can and will relapse.

For people who are struggling with addiction, the only thing that they must hold onto is their sobriety. They must eat, breathe and drink abstinence every day of the week. This sobriety that they live with must stay with them throughout the day and then go home with them at night.

Sobriety is not something to be taken lightly, and this is a significant aspect of addiction recovery.


How to Stay Sober During The Holidays

  1. Know Your Triggers

If you are struggling with addiction or if you know someone who is struggling with addiction, then you know that sobriety can be extremely tough, especially around the holidays.

Emotions are riding high during the season, and there are triggers and temptations everywhere you look. This is also why anyone who is dealing with addiction recovery must first understand their triggers to stay clean and sober the entire holiday season.

The most important and most natural way for someone prone to addiction to stay sober during the holidays is for them to ask themselves questions and answer most honestly and forthrightly as possible.

Some questions an individual prone to addiction can ask themselves include, am I dealing with loneliness and despair during the holidays, and is this is what drives me to drink or use drugs? Am I prone to partying too much during the holidays and forgetting about my sobriety when I am tempted in a social environment…

  1. Asking The Right Questions

It’s vital for anyone in addiction recovery to notice when and why they have addictive triggers.

They must ask themselves when they feel most like engaging in their addiction of choice.

They must also understand when they get the most intense cravings for their addiction of choice. They need to ask themselves what happens directly before and during an episode of wanting desperately to fuel their addiction of choice.

These are vital things that someone prone to addiction must think about and ask themselves. And, these questions are even more essential for someone to ask themselves during the holiday season since that is the time when most people who are prone to addiction seem to jump off the wagon (so to speak).

For someone prone to addiction to stay sober during the holidays, they must do their due diligence and understand what their triggers happen to be, as this is vital information for them to know and understand for them to move forward in a positive direction.

  1. Write Down Those Answers

Once someone who is prone to addiction has a good idea of what their triggers are, the next step is that they must write down all their triggers on a piece of paper.

Writing something important down on a piece of paper instills an idea into someone’s brain in the most powerful way possible.

A thought is just a thought, but when written down, it becomes a visual picture, and if someone wants to take it to the next level and beyond, they can repeat their list out loud to themselves or a loved one.

So, here’s how it should go: once someone thinks something into existence, they should write it down, and once they see it in black and white in front of them, they should speak it out loud for the most powerful and real impact of all.

  1. Be Honest

There is a tendency for some individuals, especially those who are prone to addiction, to just not be as honest as they could be.

Either they are so used to fibbing and stretching the truth about their addiction to their loved ones, family, and friends that they just cannot seem to stop, or they genuinely have a hard time being honest with themselves about their addiction because the reality is too painful to bear.

In all cases, but especially when it relates to addiction and sobriety, honesty is indeed the best policy, no matter what.

For someone to stay on top of their addiction recovery plan, they must learn to be honest with not only the others around them but to themselves as well.

Honesty is the way someone is going to see the end of the tunnel and be able to get through the tough, challenging and hard times ahead. Even as painful and heartbreaking as being honest can sometimes be, it is indeed what sets us all free, and is the primary catalyst for an addicted individual reaching sobriety.

  1. Plan Ahead

If you have all the previous steps down and you are ready for the last action for staying sober during the holiday season, then you need to learn the magic of planning and putting all of your hard work into motion.

For instance, are you being invited to a work party where you know there will be a lot of alcohol readily available? If so, then make sure to plan. Do what’s best for you and your sobriety.

Either don’t go to the party at all or if you do decide to go, make sure you bring your non-alcoholic drinks to consume, so it will be easier for you to resist temptation. Secondly, if a friend or family member asks you why you are not drinking, then tell them the truth and stand firm in your convictions.

There is nothing wrong with complete and utter honesty and transparency, especially among family and friends. Always remember, this is your life and your addiction recovery story.

If anyone out there cannot understand why staying sober is important to you, then you need to make it clear just how vital this process is to you and you must always stand firm in your convictions.

The easiest way to stay sober is, to be honest with yourself and the people around you, and to always stand firm in your beliefs, or else you might have the tendency to get swept away from your sober lifestyle.

Staying Sober Is Active

To stay sober is an active process, it is not something that can be done without a lot of strength and courage.

The problem with staying sober during the holidays is that many people start strong and brave and courageous, but during the holidays, they become lazy and lose sight of their mission.

For someone in addiction recovery, this is one of the worst things that can happen. Not only is so much hard work and persistence gone, but also, people often regret the time they jumped off the wagon in the first place.

Therefore the holiday season is a time to not only celebrate but to be intensely strong. If you are prone to addiction, then you must treat the holiday season like somewhat of a challenge.

You must know your triggers and what the temptations that go along with the season happen to be, and you must stand firm in your road to sobriety at whatever cost is necessary.


This Is For You

At the end of the day, staying sober is a choice for someone to live with self-confidence, high self-esteem, and love.

When someone commits to staying sober, they are telling themselves and the world around them that they are worth more than an addiction.

They are deciding that they are going to give back to themselves and the people around them instead of taking everything away. They are also deciding that they are going to be better than they were before.

To be sober means to actively love yourself, although it might sound cliche, the truth is that loving yourself will be your golden ticket into ultimate sobriety – forever.

Because, when you think about it, no one who loves and respects themselves would ever sacrifice their body, mind, and spirit to addiction, no matter what that addiction happens to be.

That is why loving yourself is the true testament to staying sober for life. Love yourself, put your health above all, and you will start to notice that your addictive tendencies seem just to dissipate.

The Holiday Season Can Be Fun Without Addictive Substances

All in all, the holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it is also a time for family, friends and being grateful.

The holiday season does not have to include alcohol, drugs or out of control addictive behaviors. The problem with many addicted individuals is that they see the holiday season as just being about partying or alcohol or indulgences, and the truth is that the holiday season does not have to be about any of that.

For someone to stay sober during the holidays, they must change the way they look at what the holiday season is all about. They must understand that the season can be just as fantastic, if not more so when no alcohol, partying or addictive substances or behaviors are involved whatsoever.

Are you challenged by the Holiday Season and unsure of yourself?

If you are nervous about the holidays and need help with protecting your recovery progress, you can get in touch with the Hotline at our Recovery Center where trained and experienced professionals are available to assist you in every way.

The staff at Chateau Recovery is always available to help you with all of your questions regarding addiction recovery and treatment.  Call anytime.

Chateau Recovery Center 375 Rainbow Lane
Midway, UT 84049, USA
If you or someone you love has questions concerning the rehabilitation process, call our free helpline Phone: +1 888-971-2986 for more information. Calls are always confidential, private, and secure.

Here are two videos that address the issues of possible relapse during the holiday seasons.

Surviving Christmas with a drug or alcohol addiction

Life Works Clinical Manager Nick Kypriotis offers tips and help for people battling alcohol and drug addiction over the holidays. Learn how to stay sober and off drugs over Christmas.

How Do You Avoid Relapse During the Holidays?