For many of us, the holiday season brings with it a sense of hope.
This time of year often gives us much-needed time away from our hectic work lives. It provides opportunities to reconnect with family and friends, and oftentimes, the holidays include religious observances that give people the time and space to reflect on their deepest values.
For many of our clients and their family members, recovery means slowing down, and the holidays can provide that. This change of pace can serve as an invitation to let our Higher Power come into our lives in more significant ways. A little bit of stillness can help us cut through the urgency of daily life with all its “musts” and “shoulds” and allow us to make way for the rhythms of our own souls and connection to something deeper.
But this isn’t always the case, particularly for people who are still struggling with addiction in their own lives or within their family. Rather than providing hope, the holidays can introduce increased uncertainty and pain.
Addiction is a disease of isolation, and the holidays can serve as a painful reminder of this. When addiction is part of the family dynamic, holiday gatherings intended to be restorative and hopeful may lead to revisiting painful relationships. Overpowering feelings can unexpectedly flare up in such situations. A family Christmas party can easily lead to heated disagreements, waves of sadness, a sense of loss, or other lingering difficult emotions.
Any family member of a person with an addiction has likely experienced a holiday gathering where a loved one drank too much and became a source of unwanted attention. And any person who has struggled with addiction has likely experienced the hopelessness and sense of remorse the next morning after having ruined another family gathering.
And in cases where the disease of addiction is in its later stages, friends and family members of the person in active addiction may not even have contact with them, which is painful for everyone involved.
If you find yourself in any of these difficult situations, we want to acknowledge that no matter how alone you may feel this holiday season, we can assure you that you are not. In the course of 45 years, we have worked with countless others who have been where you are and have returned to a life full of purpose, meaning, and deep connections.
Our Clinical Assessment Team is available for a confidential and free conversation about the next steps you can take to get help for yourself and your loved ones. Call us at (678) 405-5623 or reach out via the chat box in the lower right-hand corner of our website.
The first step away from isolation and desperation towards connection and hope usually involves reaching out to talk.