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A picture perfect, Christmas as often portrayed in films, social media and magazines mean being surrounded by loved ones, for a day full of laughter and delicious food and giving and receiving equally thoughtful gifts. The reality can be vastly different. Families argue at Christmas, presents cost money (yes, more debt) and for those who don’t have families it can be a bleak reminder of loneliness and isolation. For clients with an addiction, this can be a particularly difficult time, and can highlight even more their low sense of self-esteem and lack of purpose.
Temptation is rife at Christmas. It’s socially acceptable to drink at work parties and in most cultures, it’s even encouraged. Not drinking, in contrast, can be perceived as boring, antisocial or uptight. Rehab over Christmas means you can celebrate safely in a supportive environment. You can have fun, but without the risk of being offered a drink every few minutes. It will also be an opportunity to reframe what Christmas is about, as many people cannot remember a sober Christmas.
Martin Peters, Director of Residential Services says, “From the many years I have had working in the treatment field, Christmas is a particularly hard time, and for people who have an addiction, the social pressure to be part of the crowd, the encouragement to going out on the lash with work mates, often on the company’s dime can cause undue problems. It is not uncommon for some of our clients to arrive, following a works function where their HR department has basically given them an ultimatum to clean up, or get out”.
Most people with addictions isolate themselves while they use, this might not have been the case when they first started drinking or using, but slowly their world has closed in on them. They do this so they can maintain their addiction without friends or family members intervening. Sadly, the end result is that many people find themselves alone and isolated, caught in a vicious cycle of using, shame and guilt, and using – just to negate the emotional pain, or for those that are physically dependent, drinking or using, just to be able to function at some sort of level.
Many people have worked so hard to keep a distance from people over the course of their addiction, that they have succeeded in leaving themselves out of family gatherings, friendships and they no longer receive invitations to join anyone at Christmas, as their presence at such gatherings can often lead to further disagreements and stressors. Furthermore, even if a person has found sobriety but lacks company, this can be a problematic time of year that risks you relapsing, and would suggest that a person has not tuned up a recovery as such, and may need other areas of their life to be worked on.
Christmas comes with an array of expectations including presents.
For many people there is so much expectation, that in turn can lead to further problems.
Rehab over Christmas costs money as well, but an it’s an investment in self and means one can be in a clearer state of mind to make healthier decisions. Regardless of whether you know it at the time, sobriety means you will be more present and more capable of being there for your family and friends in the long-run.
For people who work in high-pressure jobs it can be discouraging to take more than a few days off in any one instance, and it’s often sighted by people as a reason to not seek help, yet continuing in an ongoing cycle of addiction, is often far more destructive to a person’s career in the long term. Often companies however, will have closure periods over Christmas and even create ‘forced leave’ periods where their staff have to take time off. For some, that can make it the perfect time of year to take some time out for themselves, and work on their building a stronger foundation, that will take them through into the new year, and a future life free from the clutches of addiction.
Family members can be our biggest advocates and at the same time trigger us the most. Unless people have experienced addiction, it can make it difficult for them to always understand. Family members want to believe the best of you, and that can make them easy to deceive. Often Family members feel that they are helping, but in fact are contributing further to the problem
Addiction typically involves secrecy and that involves telling lies. Family members are less likely to challenge us than our sponsor or therapist.
It’s not uncommon for people struggling with sobriety, to highlight that they are encountering family issues, and for clients coming to Samarpan, they will have the benefit of spending some time working on themselves, as well as the additional support of our Family Program and Family Support groups, which will enable the family to be better equipped to support their loved ones in recovery.
If this sounds relatable and you need support over the holidays, please reach out. Our dedicated Samarpan Residential team work 365 days of the year, and will be working throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
Samarpan is an International standard drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre located in Pune, India providing high quality care in a structured and evidenced based program using our recognised our Bio, Psycho, Social, Spiritual approach and Gorski-CENAPS Relapse Prevention Model, fully staffed with credentialed addictions therapists, 24 hour medical and nursing support in scenic and premium facility.
Put recovery at the top of your list, call Samarpan today and take the first step in your journey back to life.
+91 81809 firstname.lastname@example.org