If you are in early recovery you may be finding, with Christmas approaching fast, that the holidays are proving to be a challenge. It is a feeling that is completely normal; it can take some time to learn how to cope with the multitude of emotions that rise up. For many in early recovery, there is a good chance that they are estranged from their family, the result of years of addictive behavior and the damage that accompanies the disease. A number of people find that they will not be joining their family for the Christmas festivities, just as people in early recovery are still healing, so too are their families who may not be ready to move beyond the past.
Working to repair the damage of one’s past is a major component of recovery programs. If you are actively working the 12-steps with a sponsor, you will address the damage caused by your past and make amends when then the time is right. Until such time, the best thing a person in early recovery can do is continue working towards a better life through the principles and traditions of recovery. Only good things can follow, as long as you do not pick up a drink or drug.
This Christmas there will be many who have begun their journey of recovery in an addiction treatment center, which means that they will not be able to join their family this Christmas. Conversely, there are many families whose loved one is currently in a treatment facility, which can be equally difficult. While it is unfortunate that some families will not be able to fully come together during the holiday, the silver lining is that people in treatment programs are working to break the cycle of addiction and families can take solace in the fact that their loved one is in a safe place.
One could even argue that the best Christmas present an addict can give their family is recovery. Taking steps to be free from all mind altering substances and become a productive member of society is no small feat – a miracle in itself. Addiction brings people to the darkest of places, recovery carries addicts and alcoholics back into the light.
We at Cottonwood Tucson would like to commend everyone working a program of recovery, and we hope that everyone has a safe and sober holiday. Remember the tools you have learned and stay close to your support network, for if times become difficult your recovery peers become your safe port in the storm. We hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas.