The holiday season can often be difficult for people in recovery and those still struggling with an alcohol use disorder. But instead of drinking with the in-laws at Thanksgiving this year, you could be getting sober for a better Christmas. The alcohol rehabs in Arizona at Silver Sands Recovery can help you break free from your addiction if you’re willing to seek help.
Why Recovery Is Hard Around the Holidays
For countless people in recovery, staying sober during the holiday season is an annual challenge. Maybe eggnog was your favorite alcoholic drink, or perhaps the long tradition of having alcohol or drugs around a fire makes it difficult to overcome old habits.
While the holidays are meant to be a time of celebration and family connection, the sad fact is that Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s often become alcohol-fueled gatherings with more argument and confrontation than holiday cheer.
Of course, living a life in recovery can teach you several strategies to overcome these holiday difficulties. If you’re struggling to not drink during the holidays, try employing a system such as:
- Attending an addiction support group
- Leaving the family function before the alcohol comes out
- Having friends or family members be there to support you in your sobriety
- Choosing to spend your time helping others rather than focusing solely on your challenges
But these strategies may be moot if you still live with an alcohol use disorder. This is the other main challenge of recovery during the holidays: many people will try to put off getting sober until after Thanksgiving, after Christmas, and after the New Year.
Getting Sober During the Holidays
Living with an alcohol use disorder can be devastating, leading to innumerable physical, psychological, and relational problems.1 But all too often, people struggling with alcohol use will attempt to delay getting sober due to outside circumstances.
Maybe you want to enjoy your holidays without putting in the work of recovery, or perhaps you think sobering up during the holidays is too difficult. Whatever your reasons, it’s essential to recognize the insidious nature of alcohol use disorder. It creates the lingering feeling that the time to get sober is always tomorrow and never today.
The Challenge of Alcohol Recovery
Alcohol is an incredibly addictive drug despite its legal status. When people drink for months or years, they develop lasting brain changes that make it difficult or impossible to stop independently.2 The brain’s reward system becomes rewired through alcohol use, leading to the feeling of craving, the experience of physical withdrawal, and a loss of reward from any activity outside of alcohol use.
But these changes have a profound mental effect as well, leading people to rationalize their alcohol use, trivialize the very real consequences they face, and procrastinate on the work that needs to be done to achieve a lasting recovery.
All too often, people living with an alcohol use disorder tell themselves things such as:
- I can stop whenever I want to — I just don’t want to
- One more can’t hurt
- I’ll get sober tomorrow or next week or after the New Year
- Now isn’t a good time to go to treatment
Without fail, these thoughts are followed by another drink. These are the addictive thought patterns that develop after years of alcohol use — and they drive people deeper into their addiction. Regardless of what may have happened in the past, the best time to get sober is now.
Why Rehab During the Holidays Is the Best Choice
By the time you read this article, you’ve already taken the first step toward living a better life in recovery. You’re contemplating whether your alcohol use is a problem and may even be considering addiction treatment for the very first time. But know that this feeling can be fleeting and that only through taking action can you start reaping the benefits of recovery.
If you’re ready to start addiction treatment but are worried it might interfere with your holiday plans, ask yourself whether another time would be better. When the new year comes around, will you have a stronger desire to seek treatment? Will your work be happier to give an extended leave? Will your family be more supportive then than they are now?
The best time for you to seek treatment is right now — when you’re willing — and when you can let your future be a life of recovery rather than continued alcohol problems.
Give your family the opportunity to see you sober during the holidays rather than another year of overindulging at the dinner table. Starting treatment now means your next holiday season can be full of sober cheer, and you’ll truly have something to be thankful for.
Start Treatment at an Alcohol Rehab in Prescott
When you’re ready to begin, call the team at Silver Sands Recovery by giving us a call or by filling out our confidential online contact form. You can break free from your alcohol addiction if you reach out and make the call. Start your path to recovery today.
About the author:
Lisa Waknin is the Founder and Director of Silver Sands Recovery, located in Prescott, Arizona. Lisa started Silver Sands Recovery after immersing herself in the addiction treatment world for several years to figure out what could be done differently to help her daughter and others like her to overcome addiction and stay sober. She believes in a hands-on treatment approach, which includes taking someone out of their environment, providing a 90-day program in a structured environment. During treatment, clients not only recover physically but also learn to live their life again. Lisa is a sought-after expert speaker for recovery support groups, charities, schools, communities, and companies wanting to educate themselves on the explosion of opiate and heroin abuse in our country and the best way to understand, treat, and beat it.