Holidays can be extremely tough for addicts, especially when it is a holiday addressed specifically to families. Days that are supposed to be filled with the joy of being around family and bringing one another together in unity can be a bit overwhelming for anyone, but when you’re in recovery, it can be exasperatingly triggering and even downright upsetting. It’s not uncommon that, as addicts, we tend to take every emotion to its absolute extreme. Whether the terms you are on with your family are good, bad, or anything in between, you should try to make the most of the holiday and focus on the more positive aspects of it, even if it means reaching out of your comfort zone. Father’s Day, which is coming up this weekend, can be particularly rough.
Are you a father?
Maybe you worry that your children are disappointed in you. First off, your number one priority needs to be your recovery, even when you feel that other matters, like your children, are more valuable because ultimately, anything you put before your sobriety, you can and will lose anyway. You also need to remember that you are not a disappointment, especially at this point when you are working towards a healthier lifestyle, not just for yourself but for your family as well. If it seems like your children are not proud of you now, try to focus on that as motivation to do the next right thing. Maybe this will bring you more dedication to staying sober in order to be the person you were meant to be for your family.
On the other hand, maybe your children are your biggest fans in your life right now, rooting for you to be the best you can possibly be. If you are away from your children because you are away in treatment, it can still be saddening though. Just keep doing what you are doing and remember that there will always be the next year and more holidays coming up this year to spend with your loving, supportive family.
Are you a son?
If you are in treatment and away from your father, who you are on decent terms with, on a day dedicated to him, you could be feeling a little bit of guilt. Your best option is to call or write to him and wish him a happy Father’s Day, if you are able to. It is important to remind yourself that you are in the process of bettering yourself and that even though you may not be with your father for the holiday it is in both of your best interests to take care of yourself.
However, it is possible that you have more of a complex relationship with your father. Every family situation is different, but if both you and your father are committed to working out your problems little by little, your relationship will get better over time. For now, it would be a great gesture to at least wish your father a nice holiday, even if you feel he may not want to speak with you or you are not comfortable reaching out to him. Try to contact him with an open mind because regardless of the past, he is still your father and the gesture is appropriate.
Family relationships can be everything from loving to problematic. A lot of unexpected feelings can come into play during the holidays revolving around your family dynamic. No matter which situation describes you best, being in recovery allows you the privilege to grow into the best you possible and over time through your actions, you will be able to show your family that you can be unselfish, accountable, and respectful. Keep in mind that positive attributes don’t just arrive when you take away the drugs and/or alcohol, but better yet can be developed through the lifelong process of recovery.