When it comes to life after addiction, the main obstacle that stands in people’s way is the little green monster of relapse. It is easy to turn back to your old ways, especially when that nostalgic setting or sound makes an appearance. And, especially during the holidays, relapses become an even more prevalent occurrence among addicts who are now sober.
For example, the holidays are typically a time of gathering and hanging out, laughing and drinking, and more. But, for an addict, they can be a stressful time full of social gatherings that place stress on the individual and homes full of temptations they are so desperately trying to avoid. As a recovering addict, you might think back to past holidays where you would toast with a glass of champagne and maybe have one more with your meal. Then, once everyone had left and you had finished cleaning up the mess, you would reward yourself with a few cold beers while you binge-watched your favorite holiday movies.
And, while this activity was once an okay reward for a great day and your work cleaning up, it has now become a temptation and something that could cause a domino effect – sending you spiraling right back down to the path of addiction. So, you might find yourself frustrated because you desire that old habit…
Everyone needs that cool down period and everyone needs that “me time” activity that they love so much. We all need a way to reward ourselves. But, especially as a recovering addict, you have to ensure it is something that is healthy for you and does not interfere with your recovery.
So, while you might not be able to have a cold beer after a long holiday anymore, find a healthier alternative that will help calm you down. For example, especially since the holidays are normally cold, why not cozy up by the fire place with a mug full of warm tea? There are so many different tea flavors, picking it out is an activity in and of itself!
There are plenty of things you can do to cool down and relax and several other “me time” past times that are healthier than drugs or alcohol. It is about finding what works for you. And, continue to replace that old habit with your new and healthier one and eventually, that new and healthier habit will become your normal go-to.