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Holidays
By Dad
11/30/2013 8:41:22 PM
Step 1 - Key Principle — Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
I was raised by alcoholics and am now trying to help my 30 year old daughter with an addiction to prescription drugs. I do not understand why addicts/recovering addicts struggle on holidays? Specifically the big family holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Can anyone help me understand what is so horrible about these holidays, that will cause the addict to feel the need to use, because they are near family and partaking in traditions?

Thanks

Comments:

Stress, loneliness    
"There is even loneliness if lots of people are around.

...at least that's why the holidays are difficult for this addict."
posted at 06:44:57 on December 1, 2013 by Anonymous
SOOO out of balance    
"Cravings are much easier to control when our bodies, minds, and spirits are in balance: when we get sufficient sleep, when we eat healthy foods, when we exercise regularly, when we meditate and ponder, when we pray and read scriptures, and when we avoid stress and negative self-talk.

I noticed this past week as I travelled and visited family that I failed at least partially (and in some cases, completely) in EVERY one of those areas. That makes it very difficult to stay in balance. Consequently, the mind, body, and spirit begin craving a shot in the arm. They want balance, and they figure they can get it with a shot of chemicals, the kind that come pouring into our system when we indulge. We "know" exactly how to reacquire balance quickly and easily and avoid stress: act out.

In truth, we need to take better care of ourselves and maintain balance, especially during the holidays and on vacation."
posted at 14:39:40 on December 1, 2013 by beclean
Thanks    
"I very much appreciate both of the comments above. Anonymous...I have not ever really considered lonliness when surrounded by loved ones but will pray for knowledge along these lines and will consider how this can be possible, since its not an issue for me...

BECLEAN...of course...and this was in fact a big difference for my loved one. In her little world she does all those things to keep her in check...and like many of us, we return to the habits that didn't hurt us when we were young and are disasterous for us as adults.

Staying on track seems like a good practice.

I appreciate you both...."
posted at 20:51:09 on December 1, 2013 by dad
Holidays are a trigger    
"In addition to he reasons listed above, Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc...can cause triggers that lead to act/ medicating with alcohol,drugs,porn, whatever. In the past, we acted out or looked forward to how we may act out over holidays because we justified that our Holiday should be filled with joy and happiness like everyone else's, not shame or despair. These negative feelings are what drove us to our addiction in the first place, because we would numb away the feelings of ----fill in the blank. We felt these emotions strongly during these times when we were surrounded by those people we love. We remember , or more accurately, we're reminded of the values we should have been living in our own lives when we are around our loved ones...and in order to numb away our shame, we self medicated. So when the holidays come around again, we try to medicate our feelings by turning to our addiction. We don't know any different. Although hopefully we know better now and can recognize, and deal with our negative emotions in a healthy way."
posted at 20:53:51 on December 1, 2013 by Gorange
My two Cents    
"DAD,
my feelings are that at the holidays we have a couple of things going on. First you have the unrealistic expectations that the world puts upon us. What Christmas, New Years are supposed to be. A lot like the unrealistic expectations of fitness or beauty that we see through a lot of different areas. I remember going home years ago and how I wanted so much the white fluffy christmas that budweiser use to have with the horses driving around. As I have worked through my addiction I have learned or am working on controling my expectations, what do i want to get out of christmas, especially what am I subconsciously expecting, things that I might be embarrased to say or admit, but important to recognize these expectations and with the Saviour work to change and take on his vision.

I think the second thing about the holidays especially christmas is the spirit of the season, that the Saviour in one or another is calling us home, even those who are so involved in the commercial aspects of the holiday want to be a little kinder a little softer at this time of the year. I know as I work through my addictions I find myself having to give myself to the Savior warts and all. I find myself in the past fighting against that draw, trying to cover the feelings of loneliness and longing with pornography or other inappropriate behaviors. Instead i think that I want to try and clean myself up or make myself better for him, and that is something Satan works on me to try and get me to give up hope that I'm too far gone, that the Savior can save everyone else but me.

I've been going to 12 step meetings for years and it has only been in the last year that I have truly made the significant strides in my heart. What I mean by this is hang in there! Even though we've never met, my prayers are certainly with you and your family. I try to remind myself "that those that be with us be more than they that be with them" Our God is truly an awesome God."
posted at 11:46:50 on December 2, 2013 by sjanderson
I can Relate    
"Holidays have everything to do with people. We have to jump into social relationships for a short while once a year (for Some)...An intense blast of Happiness, awkwardness, demands on appearance, indulgence in food, television.... etc. I'm extremely vulnerable during the holidays. My wife also struggles.....She would have an anxiety attack on Christmas Day frequently through the years. We are trying to keep the holidays really simple now. I will probably need to attend a 12 step meeting to get my head straightened up!"
posted at 05:43:25 on December 17, 2013 by Anonymous


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"The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world". His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction… He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all. "

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General Conference October 2006