Celebrating Holidays While Recovering With Family And Friends

Celebrating Holidays While Recovering With Family And Friends

Holiday celebrations can present awkward moments for family members, especially in the presence of a loved one recovering from alcohol addiction. One of the difficult things to experience is the anxiety of dealing with an intoxicated loved one at a holiday gathering.

Many former addicts have described how uncomfortable their family members felt while they were in recovery. There are issues such as uncertainty of what to serve, and how to present refreshments at a get-together. This usually dampens holiday celebrations which are meant to be a joyous occasion. Instead, it fills the event with self-doubt, and anxiety.

Your holiday party shouldn’t be reduced to hushed whispers and uncertainty. Addiction recovery isn’t meant to be treated like a bad secret. Here are positive ways to handle the situation and put the spark in your family get-together.

  • Have A Heart-To-Heart Talk

Avoid any awkwardness by having a direct conversation with the recovering relative days before the main event. Open up to them and let them know how proud you are of their success so far. Ask if there is any way you can help and find out what they would like to drink instead. Are there any potential triggers? If so, how can you prevent it from occurring? Being open takes away doubt and replaces it with trust.

  • Prepare As A Family

Understand that a person in recovery is responsible for their actions. More importantly, know that your family cannot cause an addiction, neither can they control it or be responsible for a relapse. But your role is to be supportive and you can do this by having a discussion with the individual and a few members of your family. Holidays present a good opportunity to extend support to loved ones in recovery.


  • Extend Your Support

Don’t just focus on yourself; remember, your family member may be just as uncomfortable as you are. Instead of treading on eggshells around them, talk to them about their treatment and find out what challenges they may be experiencing. This simple gesture can clear any doubts and make them feel welcome at your party.

  • Give Alternatives

You can organise exciting holiday parties that don’t revolve around alcohol. Fun camping trips, mountain hikes and cycling in the woodlands are some activities you can organise for the family. You can also serve non-alcoholic beverages and foods- note that meals made with wine or liquor may not have any noticeable alcohol content, but a single whiff can trigger a person in early recovery.

For recovering addicts, it is essential to be part of the occasion without isolating yourself and making the whole family self-conscious. Participate in interesting activities and make some suggestions of your own.

Also, ensure you do the following:

  • Make out time for quiet meditation
  • Reach out more to support groups during the holidays
  • Find alternative ways to celebrate
  • Focus on recovery
  • Bring a friend for support

Doing these will ease the pressure to indulge and keep everyone happy. Holidays are a time for happiness and reunion- yours shouldn’t be an exception.

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