Most people believe the holidays to be a time of joy and happiness, but to some they only contain stress, depression, and loneliness. According to the popular news website CNN, the majority of the people who suffer from the holiday blues do so because of the emphasis on family and happiness when they are not close to their family. In some cases, the holidays offer painful reminders of people who are lost or have passed on.
To a recovering opiate addict this depression is made worse by the memories of how the opiate made them feel happy even if it was dangerous. Most recovering addicts lose family and friends in the process of the addiction. They might even be estranged from everyone that they once trusted and relied on. The holidays represent a challenge to those in recovery. This challenge can be overcome by using techniques to avoid opiates during the holidays.
There is a lot to do during the holiday season. By keeping busy, you can avoid the temptation to give into the cravings for opiates. Find things to occupy your mind and your time such as:
- holiday decorating,
- cooking elaborate meals,
- spending time with family and friends,
- going shopping,
- people watching,
- taking up a hobby,
- getting a seasonal job, or
- anything else you enjoy doing.
The trick is to keep both your mind and body occupied. This technique does not only work for the holidays, it can work any time you have a craving or think that you might use opiates.
Reach Out to Community Organizations
Many community organizations operate in sobriety. There are group meetings for people with opiate addictions as well as group counseling for just the seasonal blues. If you went to a rehab program the counseling resources and group meetings should still be a part of your support structure. If you feel the need to use opiates during the holiday season seek out one of these meetings or group sessions, make an appointment with a counselor and talk it out.
Consider why you want to Use
Most people have a reason for starting to use opiates. Sit down and think about why you want to start using again. Find the reason and correct it. Many times, it is stress or boredom that makes you want to use, other times it is loneliness. If you can isolate why you want to use and solve that problem many times the craving will go away. This is not an easy process and takes a lot of introspection in order to accomplish.
Keep in Mind What the Holidays are For
This is difficult for almost everyone to do, even those that are not recovering from an addiction. The holidays are about family, friends, and caring for others. By keeping this in mind you can usually lift your spirits. Remember why you stopped using in the first place and keep that in mind through the worst of the holiday blues. For more information on avoiding opiates during the holidays, call us at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?).