Newly Sober and Estranged Family During the Holidays

guy handing out information in the street

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

As someone in recovery from addiction and substance abuse, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time as you navigate through the journey of your recovery.

Because addiction is complex and often takes a toll on not only your own life, but affecting your loved ones as well, relationships can often be damaged or destroyed as a result of your addictive behaviors. This may be a challenging aspect to face, especially during the holiday season when families often come together.

Perhaps you have become estranged from your own family due to the actions that have resulted from your addiction, and these resulting consequences can be painful to accept and deal with. You may feel the sting of this more so during the holidays, as this time of year is often meant for celebration with the ones you love.

Important Step

However, being sober is an incredible step towards repairing relationships that have been damaged due to addiction, and showing your family your seriousness about recovery is a powerful testimony of your desire to restore what has been broken and lost.

Hand Covering Flowers at the Garden with SunlightNo matter what circumstances you may find yourself in during the holiday season, it is important to know that there are people who love and care about you and that you should not be alone during this time. While it may be tempting to keep yourself isolated, especially when estranged from family, this can be triggering to your recovery efforts.

Stay closely connected to your support group and to those who have been part of your recovery journey thus far. Find ways to participate in the holidays that support your recovery efforts and help you maintain your sobriety.

While being estranged from family members is not the most ideal situation, it is important to understand that relationships take time to heal and to be restored. Continue staying focused on your treatment and sobriety is perhaps the best thing you can do in this difficult situation.

Consider working with a marriage and family therapist to help you deal with the challenges you are facing due to estranged family members, and know that with professional help and support, you can continue to make positive steps and strives towards getting your life back in place.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you have been in recovery from substance abuse and addiction, how have you worked to repair family times that may have been broken as a result of your behaviors and habits? What resources have been helpful to you during your journey?

Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 24, 2015
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