Navigating the Happy, Happy Holidays can be a real challenge for someone in recovery from either a relationship or a substance. Sometimes these two things can affect you in the same way and that is when it hits the fan. The memories walk in uninvited. All the past joys or sorrows that you experienced during the previous seasons have a tendency to crawl back in and infect whatever happy mood you had to start with.
There is a very great temptation to lighten the load with some form of addiction but as we know these things are no longer allowed to us. Here is what I have found of some use so far. How well these suggestions work depends on how much sincere energy you put into them and, of course, take what you need and leave the rest!
One thing that I have found that works for me is to set up some sort of program and follow it faithfully.
Here are some options:
Make a firm impassioned commitment to take charge of your emotions as best you can.
Do not think about mistakes from the past. That road only leads to sadness and sadness is not your friend right now or ever. Do not re-dig that groove.
Keep busy. The mind is difficult to retrain out of those sad old patterns so do not get them started again. This is a great time to use EFT moves which are available all over the Web.
Go work with the homeless or do some other form of service work. You can pack food at Meals on Wheels, serve in your local shelter, or do an intervention if the opportunity arises.
I know it sounds fake and corny but if you look around you will see many people who are way worse off than you are. This is not a cheering thought but it does put your difficulties into perspective.
Work out or take a long walk or both. Running that blocked up negative energy through your body instead of leaving it hamster-wheeling around in your head will really make a difference.
Sometimes journaling can help but set a time limit if you have a tendency to get maudlin when you write.
Count your blessings! And I mean really count your blessings. Make a note of 5 things you see around you that are positive from the first moment that you wake up and then if that hasn’t helped – do it again.
You could try being painfully honest when you arrive at the holiday meal. Why not announce what they already know and just tell them that you are now seriously in recovery and ask for their help and support instead of pretending that nothing has happened. That might shift control back to you.
Surviving the holidays is a very serious challenge but I know you are up for it. Treat it as a challenge and don’t let it defeat you.
You have come this far and you know you have the courage to do this and to do it with style and coolness. May God bless your endeavors and much love to you all during this charming holiday season!