During the holiday season many families get together for dinner and reunions. For some the holidays are a joyful time, for others it can be too traumatic to endure. The mixture of personalities can and often does bring about a mixture of behaviors. Old memories of events brought to light can make for great conversation.
Then there are those incidents that were not favorable. Incidents, that bring up emotions that sometime have negative reactions. The fun and mirth can all go downhill all at once. It can be “that family member” who decides to drink or drug to make the season bright. For a family member in recovery watching others drink and or drug is difficult. Many do not realize the recovering addict still needs the help to remain clean.
To balance the many mindsets at the holiday reunion can be challenging. There are those in recovery and those who like to get their buzz on. This balance can be quite a task. The families who do best are the families who are in a recovery process. Many members see the personality differences of the person who ruined the last holiday. He or she has now become more reserved or withdrawn and other times more anxious in their early recovery . This is all the process of change.
Some family members might try to entice a recovering addict to try having a drink. Some just don’t understand that any use of any drug is a relapse and that alcohol is a drug. Relapse at a family gathering can be devastating for all. For some families having an alcohol free gathering is best. At times the person in early recovery feels the need to give everyone permission to drink.
I’d be cautious if that happens, as it could be an early warning sign of relapse. Other times the early recovering person believes that they may be ruining the fun for others. Early recovery is a difficult time and the holidays especially. Never underestimate a holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New years are especially tough times. As we reflect on holidays of the past, losses, loved ones who are no longer with us. Nar-anon and Al-anon are great places for families to get support during these times.
It is believed that families involved in the recovery process do best. Structured Family Recovery ™ is a great way to engage also. Everyone can take part in SFR™.
So this holiday season take care and know that recovery is possible.