The holidays can be a magical time for families. It's time for great parties, good food, relationships, reminiscing of the past and gift giving. Family members often travel for a long time to stay together. For many, it's only time for the year that their family is all as one.
For those families with addiction, the free time can be a challenging time. Not knowing what to expect from the addict can leave family members on the edge. Because the problem is often crying slowly, the anxiety of the secret causes further stress. Many times, family members will prevent social work from their fear of shame or trouble.
In order to make matters worse, alcoholic beverages are usually fundamental to holiday meetings. If a family member has alcohol, it still causes another strain. Alcoholic beverages are left feeling like a child is being watched and family members can not relax their fear that their loved ones lose control. It's no wonder that a holiday is a common theme for families who deal with addiction.
So how do you enjoy your holiday when it's an active addict in your life? The following are some tips to overcome anxiety and feel peace during this period:
Tip 1 – Beware of you. The holiday can get stressful even without affair addiction. When you add to the problems that surround the addict, stress can become overwhelming. Schedule in time just for yourself. You have the right to enjoy the season and in order to do that, you need to remove yourself from the addict in your life. This does not make you a bad parent, family member or friend. In fact, this can be wakened by the addict – a reminder that the world does not match him or her. Take time every day to relax, go shopping, practice, take a long bath, meditate or whatever, helps you feel peaceful and content.
Tip 2 – Learn about the addiction and challenges that apply to your loved one. It can be difficult to sympathize with the addict when they continue to make bad decisions. We just do not understand why he or she will not stop using or drinking. To the family it seems that the addict does not care about quitting. Frustration can easily be built. Unfortunately, the drugs of the brain are no longer working. Repeated medication interferes with the system in the brain, which often causes a single-tasked job to look for more medicines. The tall brain believes it needs medication or alcohol to survive. It is not just a matter of willpower. Once we understand, we can seek ways to assist the addict to the treatment and stop taking personal behavior.
Tip 3 – Focus on your own recovery. Although time limits can tempt family members to release recovery meetings, now, more than ever, it is important to use support groups. If you have not taken part in Al-Anon or other groups, this is an ideal time. With these groups, beloved addicts can share their experience, struggle and hope in order to gain strength and solve their common problems.
Tip 4 – Release previous frustration. Much of stress suffered by family members is due to bad memories of the past. Rather than hold on frustration, expect the same negative passing, learn from the past. Some family types may need to change. For example, it might be best for your family to go out for the free time. Wine and other alcoholic drinks should probably be left out of plans. Perhaps a new tradition is embarking on each and everyone sharing what they are grateful for this year would be a good way to keep the atmosphere positive.
Tip 5 – Do not keep your expectations too high. We all want the picture a perfect holiday, but actually nothing is perfect. Every family has challenges. Statistically, addiction affects one in four. You are not alone. It's time for families to open and learn from each other. This is why family allowances like Al-Anon are so important. Make smart changes to your family traditions to make the festival less stressful. And last but not least, relax and enjoy your time. If we are constantly looking for a crisis to happen it will probably come up. However, if we work to be positive and be grateful, then we are more likely to enjoy ourselves.
As the wife recovers addicts, it always seemed that addiction would worsen on holidays. In fact, addiction was not getting worse, but my stress was about addiction would boost. A few weeks before family gathering, I was worried about the results. Every time my husband would let go, my fear of our vacation being out of addiction would overwhelm me. Because I kept secret of his addiction for many years, I was afraid of getting to know the family to find another reason to worry.
When I opened family members and started to help, there was a weight lift from my shoulders. I urge you to reach people who care about you and help them lift the load. Learn to take care of yourself and just relax. And last but not least, do not take the festival too seriously. It's time to have fun and be grateful. Regardless of whether it's an active addict in your life, you can still create happy memories and enjoy this holiday.