Broken expectations can often lead to disappointments. It seems that the holiday season does a doozy on all of us every year despite our best efforts. We come into mid-November with clear-cut convictions that “This Year will be different” and by December 26th we are lonely, depressed and wondering, “where did everything go wrong?”. With family visits that start with artificial harmony, nervous pretension that ultimately end with shouting matches, loneliness, isolation and ultimately (depression).
While the world tells you “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” you are left deflated, disillusioned wanting to escape the relational pain that helped introduce you to your addiction in the first place. What can you do this year to help insulate yourself (and your life) against the dangers that the Holidays bring? Let me suggest a few important steps to take this year:
Create Healthy Boundaries
Dr. Henry Cloud, famous for his work in the field of family dynamics and parenting, says that we must have healthy boundaries in our life if we’re to take ownership and authority in our life. He says;
“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership.”
What Cloud is saying is that we must be able to take hold of our life in a manner where we become self-responsible and empowered to take control of our life.
Cultivate Healthy Rhythms
When the holidays come we tend to eat more, sleep less, and basically throw out anything that resembles a schedule. Pretty soon we’re feeling restless (due to lack of movement), tired (due to lack of sleep) and un-energized (due to lack of production). Stay on your exercise and diet programs best you can over the holidays.
Attend Recovery Meetings Frequently
Recovery is about re-creating healthy norms. That means you have to re-learn almost everything. The AA meetings or celebrate recovery meetings (that they have at several churches) help people to think differently, relate differently and see life differently.
It might be an inconvenience to the schedule to leave a family gathering a few hours in to attend a meeting but that will reinforce to you, to your family and to God that you are serious about your recovery. It’s been said before that unless it costs you something (your recovery that is) then one must question if it’s worth anything.
You, my friends, are worth it. You’re worth it in God’s eyes and as image bearer of God you are worth investing in, you are worth loving and you are worth sobriety.
Community Discussion – Share Your Thoughts Here!
What practical steps have helped you keep your recovery a priority during the holidays?
About the Author:
Ryan Moffat is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
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 28, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com