Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this special event will jumpstart the holiday season. For those who are living away from their hometown, this is an opportunity to travel back and spend time with family. However, for people who are newly sober, this could be a serious dilemma.
Whether you’ve just finished rehab or you just got sober on your own, you might be deliberating if you should come home during the holiday season. Will this decision be good for your recovery? What is the best thing to do? In this post, we will discuss the different factors that could help you decide whether it is a good idea to go back home on Thanksgiving. We will also provide some tips on how you can avoid relapse during the season.
Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Going Home On Thanksgiving
There are advantages and disadvantages that you as a newly sober person could encounter if you go home for Thanksgiving, however, everyone has a different story. What could work for someone can totally fail for other people. You have to realize that, ultimately, your decision will depend on your relationship with your family during your active addiction and how they have reacted to your recent recovery journey.
Let’s start with the pros. One of the topmost advantages of going home for Thanksgiving is not being alone during this festive season. If you live alone and you don’t really have family nearby, not having anyone with you while people around you are celebrating can be very depressing. You might already know that solitude can be very dangerous especially for someone newly sober. Being alone could lead to you feeling miserable and could even cause you to relapse.
If you go home to your family, they could provide emotional support. This is very important for people who are very new to recovery. If you have been distant from your family during your active addiction, this could be a good time to reconnect and renew your relationship with them. It is also a great way to slowly integrate back into your social circles.
However, there could also be disadvantages to going home for Thanksgiving. First is fear- fear of being judged, fear of facing conflicts, and fear of being around alcohol. If you had some misunderstandings with some of your family members, this could lead to conflicts during the Thanksgiving celebration. Since you are just newly sober, some hurts might still be fresh and not everyone could be forgiving. As you are newly sober, the last thing you need at the moment is to put yourself in stressful situations that could cause you to relapse.
It is also common to have alcohol during celebrations like Thanksgiving. If your family is not willing to restrict alcohol, you might find it difficult or you might even get tempted to drink.
When making your decision, you have to weigh these pros and cons by assessing what applies to your situation. If you need more guidance, read on to find out some questions you could ask yourself before deciding.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Going Home
To help you decide whether going home for Thanksgiving is the right choice, ask yourself the following questions.
Does your family know about your recent struggles?
Is your family aware of your recent substance abuse struggles? Will they understand your situation if you go home? Your relationship with your family and how much they know about your situation is important.
You can’t simply hide your struggles and expect them to understand you instantly when you suddenly start refusing the alcohol they’re offering. If they are aware of your situation, are they supportive of your recovery?
Is the thought of going home making you feel uncomfortable?
The answer to this question can be answered by you and you alone. If you don’t feel comfortable about going home yet, then that’s okay. Don’t force yourself into a situation that could end up in a disaster and later on, relapse. When you’re newly sober, it’s okay to put yourself first by putting your recovery as your top priority.
Do you have family members who are heavy drinkers or drug users?
If you have family members who drink or take drugs, this could be a serious problem. During early recovery, it is best to keep yourself away from people and things that could cause you to relapse.
Will you be better off spending Thanksgiving with other people aside from your family?
If you have a group of friends who you feel will be better companions for you during Thanksgiving, this could be an alternative option. If you don’t have sober friends, another good idea is to check with your rehab if they have a Thanksgiving alumni event that you could attend.
Tips On How To Avoid Relapse On Thanksgiving
Are you going home for Thanksgiving and you are not sure how to avoid relapse. Below are some quick tips that could help you stay on track.
- Talk to your family beforehand about your recovery before going home
- Bring your own non-alcoholic drink to events
- Stay away when conflict is brewing
- If possible, come with a sober friend
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment today.