The holidays put pressure even on those with no addiction. The grim determination to enjoy the festive season not to mention the claustrophobia inducing sensation of being trapped with your family no matter how much you love them is enough to make anyone reach boiling point. So if you’re battling drinking or drug dependency, your lot is even harder. How can you cope?

  • Take yourself out of the firing line. If you know that you’re going to find it impossible to stick to your recovery plan, book yourself a sobriety retreat. Somewhere where the temptation of drugs and alcohol cannot reach you and you can spend the holiday period in quiet mindfulness instead.

  • Talk to your family. Instead of one big gathering where arguments are as likely as gifts and rich food, your family could support you by arranging for smaller groups at any one time. If there are family members who are unsupportive of your struggle or who do not understand your addiction issues, it may just be necessary to avoid their company until you are sure of your success.

  • Don’t put pressure on yourself. You may have resolved not to try to enjoy yourself and just to go with the flow but it’s still tempting to make January 1st a focal point for all kinds of new resolutions and promises both to yourself and to others. Make January 1st a date just like any other and avoid the pitfalls of making promises to yourself and to others that will simply cause you more pressure.

Remember that the holidays are hard for everyone whether through the loss of a loved one or life which is simply not going to plan; they throw everything into sharp relief. Remember that this too will pass and you can succeed.