The holidays are stressful enough as it is – but getting through the holidays with an addict can be much more than most of us can handle. When someone you love is an addict, every day is a challenge. The holidays tend to amplify these challenges and can lead to an incredible amount of stress. Because holidays are already such a stressful time, it is important that you take steps to minimize negative emotions and situations. It isn’t easy, but it is possible to get through the holidays with an addict.
Why Addicts Add Stress to the Holidays
The holidays are inherently stressful. Add the emotional and physical issues an addict creates and it could be a recipe for disaster. For one, the holidays are a time for family and friends to gather together. Family dynamics and the close-knit nature of the holidays can bring up a lot of buried issues and emotions. If an addict has been “hiding” their substance abuse issues, the presence and closeness of family may set them over the edge, causing outbursts or increased substance abuse. The holidays are also supposed to be a time of warm memories and meaningful tradition. As most of us who have lived with addicts know, it can be nearly impossible just to get through an average day – let alone create special moments. Addicts can be distant and bring negative energy to holiday events. You may spend a holiday party worried about their drinking, rather than enjoying yourself. They may not be coherent enough to participate in holiday traditions. This causes hurt, anger and stress.
Dealing with an Addict over the Holidays
The best way to deal with an addict is to be prepared to avoid situations that will cause stress and trigger bad behavior. If you are planning a family gathering, it might be best to reach out to family members beforehand and explain that there are some sensitive issues you’re dealing with and keep judgments and unkind comments at a minimum. One thing that never helps an addict is judgment, especially from close family members. Although it might not be ideal, it could be a good idea to cut down on the amount of holiday parties and work events you attend. These events can be major triggers for addicts and can lead to embarrassing or uncomfortable situations. Alcohol is a big factor at holiday celebrations and if you are dealing with an addict, these booze-friendly events aren’t a good place to be. Try initiating simple home celebrations, such as tree-trimming or just watching a holiday movie together. The trick is to “get through” the holidays without a major incident. After the holidays are over, it may be time to confront the addict and have the difficult discussion about residential treatment centers or entering drug and alcohol rehab.
New Year, Big Changes: Start Fresh with Luxury Sober Living
The New Year is the perfect time to initiate a conversation about sobriety and drug and alcohol rehabilitation and sober living options. The New Year symbolizes a fresh start and can be chance to embrace sober living and reclaim their life. Most addicts, deep down, want to get help. Sometimes it takes a serious conversation about how their addiction has affected their life, relationships, family and friends to prompt them to make a change and seek drug and alcohol rehab. Riviera Recovery is a Malibu drug rehab and luxury sober living center that focuses not only on treating an addiction, but also providing hope and healing to help addicts face the future, sober and with a solid plan in place.
Riviera Recovery’s Malibu treatment center offers a different approach to sober living – and that’s why we provide long-term success for young people struggling with addiction. To learn more about our Malibu recovery center, visit Riviera Recovery’s web site.