Surviving Christmas as an alcoholic or addict
Surviving Christmas holidays as an alcoholic or addict can be one of the most difficult times. Although it is a time to look forward to (at least in part because heavy drinking and getting ‘out of your head’ can be considered the norm) it is also a time when heavy drinkers and addicts have many slip ups and let themselves down.
Being ashamed of your behaviour
In my drinking days I can remember feeling bad after Christmas functions. Due to dancing too outrageously, gossiping too much, falling down stairs, not turning up for commitments I had made prior to going to the pub, even being pushed along the road in a supermarket trolley (more than once). All huge fun at the time, but not so great the next day when you feel humbled and silly. Even if many friends and colleagues are still reliving and laughing about your antics. If you have a drink problem the situation has a great feeling of déjà vu about it.
Starting the year with regrets
Other not so pleasant memories include getting given bottles of drink for Christmas and drinking them rather too quickly. Sometimes even having to replace them so no one knew they had already disappeared. And New Years Day was never a happy day for me. I always felt bad about what I had said or done on New Years Eve. Always felt hungover, tired and low. I always felt that it was the worst possible start to a new year. And while I was drinking it rarely got a lot better.
Rehabilitation clinics remain open
If things get on top for you over Christmas / New Year, you will find that alcohol and drug rehab clinics are open and will admit new clients. In fact you can even go in to treatment on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day if necessary. You will not be the first to decide to do this and certainly will not be the last. Those who come in on Christmas Eve may just save the day for their families. Who can then enjoy their own Christmas free from the chaos and upset that can be caused by a drinker (or drug user). And knowing that their loved one is safe and getting the help he or she needs.
Those who come on Christmas Day tend to have already disrupted the day to some extent. Even if only by the timing of them needing to get organised and go. And those who come in to treatment on Boxing Day or any days after Christmas to New Year, usually come because their behaviour has become so intolerable for their family. And a ruined Christmas has been the final straw.
Surviving Christmas as an alcoholic – a fresh start
The good news for those who come into treatment during this period is that they are getting the help they need for the new year. A fresh start. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation involves a detox if required. But, more importantly, counselling and therapy so that we can change the way we view our lives. Recognise that we do not need a substance to blur reality. And get hope and positivity for the future. It is not easy to go through treatment for alcoholism and addiction, but if you do it the New Year can be happier and more fulfilled.