While most people look at the holidays as a time of joyous festivities, for those suffering from addiction it can be a very dangerous time. Whether you are fighting nicotine, drugs, or alcohol, the stress of family gatherings, bacchanalic office parties, or simply the limited exposure to sunlight during winter months there are some important things you need to keep in mind to avoid relapsing. Here are some tips that can help you make it through the holidays while staying sober.
Recovery and managing addiction is something that for addicts will be a lifelong process. Even if you feel that you've "beaten it", there is always the risk of relapse.
Instead, it's important to focus on ways to manage the behavior so you can avoid the effects.Let’s take a look at a few key steps for managing addiction.
Monitor How Your Addiction Affects You
No matter how severe it is, addiction can take a toll on your relationships as much as it affects your body and mental health. Addictions can cause emotional rifts when a patient becomes detached from friends and family or values their addiction above the relationships in their life. Addictions affect a person’s physical, mental and social health. The sooner you realize the negative effects of the addiction on your life, the easier it is to treat the addiction.
Know What Triggers Your Addiction
Addictions do not occur by themselves and they certainly do not manifest all the time. They need certain stimuli or triggers to appear. It could be the sight of smoke for cigarette smokers or pictures of attractive women for sufferers of pornography addiction. These triggers can be explicit or subtle, but knowing that they exist allows for the creation of effective strategies for dealing with them.
Find a Friend Who Can Support You
If you know the addiction is eating you up inside, it is best that you talk with someone close to you and reveal how the problem is making you feel and how it is affecting everything else. The emotional baggage you carry is already too much, so being able to offload your emotions to someone who can provide great advice is a good step to consider. There is no shame in it. Opening yourself up is, in fact, a very courageous thing to do!
Know Your Options
Once you have been open about your problem, the next step is to explore different viable approaches to treating your addiction. There are a lot of options to choose from and you might want to base your choice on the nature of the addiction itself as well as its severity and availability. For instance, if you are an Orlando native with a drinking problem, you might want to consider alcohol detox Florida natives can rely on.
Addictions are barriers that keep us from realizing our goals in life and make us feel irrelevant. But just like any barrier, being addicted to something can be treated. You just need to take the first step.