Some of us have just come through our first holiday season without a relapse. I’m so proud of you. This is such a big deal. Any season, any day, any hour or minute sober is something to celebrate. The holiday season seems to be the toughest time of year for many people and there are a lot of reasons for that. Our routines may be off because of family visits and time off work. Financial pressures may be greater. Some of us are separated from family. Some of us are around family too much and we get triggered by them. Mid November to mid January has traditionally been the most difficult time of year for me. So, if you have successfully made it through the holidays in my heart I am throwing a party for you. Especially if this is your first time through sober.
Now, as we move forward, be ready for the potholes that always show up in the road in winter. Good times with family, success in sobriety, these things are often followed by a return to “normal”. It’s not that normal is bad, we’ve just been away from it for a few weeks. Now is not the time to drop our guard. This isn’t the time to back away from community or the routines we have built into our recovery plan that have helped us achieve the success we just experienced. It may even be a time to step up our vigilance for a few weeks as we readjust to life in the real world after the holidays. Remember that there are people like myself and others that are here and willing to help as you continue to move forward.
For some of us this season has resulted in a trip into the ditch. I believe in you too. It’s easy for our response to be a sense of hopelessness at the idea of starting all over again. When I leave home to come to town and something happens along the way that results in me driving into the ditch, I don’t magically get transported back into my driveway home when the tow truck pulls me out. Once I’m out, I examine my truck to see how bad it’s damaged. Many times there’s no major damage and we start over agin at the point we entered the ditch. Sometimes we require a trip to the shop to get a tire repaired of a fender pulled out. For an addict, the trip into the ditch only becomes a failure when we fail to take a look at what happened and we fail to consider how to prevent a trip into the ditch again in the future.
Whichever spot you find yourself in, it’s time to continue moving down the road to recovery. That may mean you dust yourself off and keep on moving. It may mean a trip to the repair shop or rehab to get a few things back in order. It may mean you’re still on the road so you take a look at the map, make any adjustments needed, and keep moving.
If you’d like to talk to someone, I’m available. Email me at email@example.com. You can do this!