The holidays that are meant to bring joy to all can be a very difficult, troubling time for anyone. This is because they tend to accompany many stressors and can become an obligation rather than a time for celebration. Holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the New Year are marketed to be seen as a time for love, family, and happiness. They can have quite the opposite effect and cause more harm than good when we are pressured into presenting as seemingly flawless for visiting family and friends. We tend to push our problems aside during this season and are encouraged to be thankful and count our blessings. This can be incredibly overwhelming and disheartening for those who are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.
Women who are struggling with addiction have a particularly hard time with the holidays as well considering the stress we are put under by today’s social norms. It is often expected of women to have everything together including a family, stable job, and an impressive home. These topics tend to be routine around the holidays. While this is not a reality for most, we often find ourselves feeling as if we have failed. Although society has made the holidays a thing of importance that should not be missed, they should not serve as a distraction from our overall health and wellbeing.
Factors That Cause Distress Over the Holidays
There are a number of triggers that can cause us to continue with our substance abuse or bring us to fall back into old patterns of addictive behavior after achieving sobriety. These can be heightened and become more severe during holiday season. Examples of these are:
- Depression - If left untreated, depression (or the overwhelming feeling of being hopeless or alone) can be a major trigger seeing as we tend to be surrounded by those who seem content, joyful, and untroubled during the holidays.
- Losing a loved one - When we are in mourning after the death of someone dear to us during the holiday season, we have a higher tendency to look for relief in something that will temporarily take the pain away.
- Family trouble - Family relationships can be complicated and do not always live up to our expectations. This can be a difficult reality to face when others have seemingly loving individuals to spend the holidays with.
- End of a romantic relationship - We tend to become more vulnerable when we are trying to process a drastic change or move forward after becoming accustomed to the company of a significant other.
- Finances - Many are faced with financial troubles and have difficulty making ends meet. The pressure of the holidays tend to exacerbate these situations seeing as we are socially inclined to give and receive gifts.
These triggers are detrimental to ones sobriety and can be intensified with the ongoing reminders of the holiday season and the happiness it is intended to bring. The toll addiction takes on its own is amplified by the factors that come into play during this season.
Why Some Don’t Wish to Enter Drug and Alcohol Treatment During the Holidays
The majority of those who are struggling with an addiction are reluctant to seek help during the holidays. This can be due to a number of variables such as the following:
- Many see the holidays as a time to have fun and tend to put off their struggles or attempt to make them seem less severe than they are.
- Others are pressured by family to keep the topic of addiction hush during the holiday visits and get-togethers. This is damaging to those in need of help because it can bring a feeling of guilt or shame. This will in turn make the chances of seeking recovery lower because of their emotional state.
- Some wish to wait until the New Year to make sobriety their resolution. Although it may seem like an ideal way to make a fresh start, taking this route can be a risk seeing as it may be too late by then.
Why Act Now?
Unfortunately, the holiday season is a very dangerous time for those struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. Out of a survey of two thousand people, 94% of those in recovery reported feeling either overwhelmingly or moderately stressed during the holiday season. It has also been discovered that approximately six thousand people die of a drug overdose every month, including holiday months. During the months of December and January, it has been reported that the amount of drug and alcohol induced deaths increase. With these statistics, it is crucial to make the decision today and potentially save a life. It can be difficult to see the severity of our addictions firsthand, but choosing to act now rather than hold off can make the difference between life and death. There are countless alternatives to consider if you are in need of support including drug and alcohol treatment in Costa Mesa, CA.
Find Help With Your Addiction Today
With the holidays around the corner, it is encouraged to put yourself first and make a decision that could be the greatest gift this year. Understanding the benefits of self-care and its
importance during this season is extremely helpful. It can also be beneficial to treat the holidays as any other day rather than giving them a sense of power over us. Meaning we still need to take care of ourselves and avoid becoming too invested in the holidays which could become a distraction and take away from our progress.
At The Ho Tai Way, a women’s drug and alcohol treatment center in Costa Mesa, there are various resources offered to those seeking help with their addictions. With a knowledgable, compassionate team and a diverse array of therapy techniques, this drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has the elements necessary to create a productive learning environment for its valued clients. If you or a loved one is considering recovery, do not hesitate to call The Ho Tai Way today for more information about the program.