Relapse Prevention Plan for the Holidays.

Holiday time increases the risk for relapse for chemical dependents. Holidays are suppose to be a time of joy and happiness with family and friends but for people in early recovery it can be a very painful, depressing, and scary time.

Many have never gone through the holidays sober so they have no past reference of sobriety.
Chemical Dependency is a chronic disease that has a tendency toward relapse which most recovering people tends to deny this reality.

They tend to avoid involving their families’ friends and fellow 12 step members in taking reasonable precautions that could save their lives if they relapse.   Relapse prevention planning is a program of action.

Holidays must be planned to involve sobriety.  Several things you can do to increase your success through the holidays.  Here are a few things:

1. Increase your self support meetings

2. Contact with your sponsor needs to increase

3. If a situation is uncomfortable you have the right and need to excuse yourself.

4. When you see a bottle of alcohol visualize a skull and cross bars (sign of poison).  Do the same with other drugs

5. When invited to a party ask if there will be non-alcohol drinks served or available.

6. Stay aware of where you are going and whom you will be with.  Take a recovery friend with you or someone that will hold you accountable.

7. Get adequate sleep and take vitamin supplements

8. Eat nutritional meals

9. Exercise as often as you can

10. Take good care of self.

It is easy to get into self-pity, depression, and feeling “different” during the holidays.  The greatest anecdote to self-pity and depression is faith and gratitude.  Faith in self (if you can stay sober/straight for 24 hours you can do it another 24) If you need to break it down to one hour at a time or 5 min. at a time that works too.  Gratitude:  Being thankful for what you have instead of fixating on what you don’t have.  Do you have one holiday that you were happy?  If so what made it happy? Recreate that happy time and stay focused on being creative without alcohol/drugs.  You may really surprise yourself.

We have added NAB recipes to the website that are pretty, tasty, and a way to help you feel less “different”.  Very few people come up and ask if you have alcohol in your drink when you are drinking a non-alcoholic drink.  Enjoy the delightful drinks and have a safe, sober,  blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.   Challenge yourself  to realistic goals for 2011 and “KEEP IT SIMPLE”.

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