Balancing Addiction During Easter
Two Words To You
Boundaries and communication. Without these, whether it be for yourself or for others, there is not a chance at existing in harmony. Dedicating time ahead of the holidays to make a plan and discuss everyone’s concerns is a great way to ensure every family member is feeling as comfortable as possible.
It is important to have clear boundaries set. “You are more than welcomed to attend if you can respect these boundaries of mine…” and “I would be comfortable attending the family Easter party so long as these boundaries of mine can be met…” are great ways to communicate your needs in a non-confrontational way.
If you are struggling with addiction, you are responsible for your choices throughout the holidays. Despite often feeling triggered by friends or family who may not understand the severity of your addiction. For this reason, you need to set clear boundaries with yourself and discuss behavioral expectations. Do not let external influences waver your decision, because no one knows what you need better than yourself. It is okay to decide you cannot attend the family gathering, even if your relatives appear extremely upset.
If it’s within your comfort zone, here are a few ways to attend family gatherings while avoiding possible triggers:
- Head to your loved one’s house early and head out early. Chances are substances will be used increasingly as the night progresses
- Bring your own delicious beverages to enjoy throughout the night
- Find out where the closest meeting is from where you’ll be celebrating
- Let your sponsor know where you are going in advance and ask if they can be available in case you are needing some support
Supporting An Active Addict Throughout The Holidays
It can be overwhelming when there is a family member attending the holidays who are actively using drugs or alcohol. How can everyone’s needs be met while not being an enabler? Take the time to discuss what everyone in the family’s boundaries is, and be prepared in case they indulge in their addiction at a gathering.
Spending Easter Alone?
For some, the holidays can be a tough time. Especially for those who cannot be with their family, for any number of reasons. It is undoubtedly hard to not be with loved ones on the holidays, but it is perfectly fine to decide to not attend family gatherings if it will in any way enable your addiction. It can be difficult to set this boundary with toxic friends or family, but it’s a necessary step. Anyone that belittles you or judges you as a result of your addiction is not someone necessary to engage with. If you are spending the holidays alone, here are 4 things you can do to manage your addiction while having some fun over the holidays:
Know your boundaries
When entering the holidays, make sure you have a clear understanding of who and what you can engage with in order to not be enabled or unnecessarily stressed.
Connect with your support groups
This can be a particularly difficult time as it can resurface old memories and highlight the relationships in your life that have dissipated as a result of your addiction. During this time it’s important to reach out to those who support you most. Attending extra meetings or reaching out to a friend to discuss any additional negative feelings or anxieties is important in order to stay on track during this time.
The holidays can be an isolating, lonely time for addicts. Whether its getting creative, walking around the Easter egg hunt, or binge-watching all your favorite TV shows, staying busy is a great way to keep yourself in a positive mindset.
Reflect and celebrate
With the new year approaching, it’s a great time to sit and reflect. Spend time looking at how far you’ve come, and where you’d like to go next. Celebrate your accomplishments, and set your mind to tackling your new goals.
The holidays should be restful and stress-free. With a solid plan, clear boundaries, and open communication, you can manage your addiction while enjoying quality time alone or with loved ones.