Although it’s a time for festive celebrations, this time of the year can harder for some. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, whether you are involved directly or not, the disease of addiction can lead to devastating outcomes. Steps Together employee Pete, has kindly shared his experience of being in recovering over the Christmas period.
Christmas in active addiction
“I was never present even when I was there physically. I’d do the bare minimum of interacting with my family. I’d have to make sure I had enough drugs in my system so I wouldn’t go into withdrawal. I’d be in and out using. I’d be drinking too much on top on the drugs. Sometimes I’d disappear early and be out scoring drugs or doing whatever I had to in order to get more. I was very disconnected from my family and missed out on a lot of memories and good times.”
First sober Christmas
“The first one was strange, it was kind of new to me, but really rewarding being able to buy presents and spend my own money. To have a nice Christmas at a friend of my sisters with everyone. There was still anxiety being home but just being present with family was enough. They were all careful not to offer me alcohol. That was not a problem for me anymore, I had learned enough in treatment and in a 12 step fellowship that one drink or drug and I would not stop, and this stayed with me.”
Pete’s message to others who might be struggling with addiction
“Enjoy Christmas with your family. It’s not easy especially the first Christmas in recovery. Alcohol is very popular everywhere at Christmas. Stay connected to your support network be it treatment centre helplines or 12 step fellowship members. Have an exit plan in place so you can remove yourself from difficulty. Get on a 12-step meeting if you need to share your feelings and concerns – go physically and build connections if you are visiting family and are away from your usual meetings, or jump on a zoom meeting 24/7. Maybe even be open about your addiction, family and friends may be very understanding and be careful not to jeopardise your sobriety.”
We help make that first step to recovery
If you are suffering with addiction to alcohol or drugs, you will know by now it can be difficult to treat without the right help and support around you. At Steps Together, we have therapists who specialise in addiction recovery who will set empowering goals to help you achieve short and long term sobriety. This helps with rebuilding damaged relationships, to release any guilt you may feel and to accept responsibility for your alcohol or drug addiction.
To find out more about our services at Steps Together, please click on the links below-