When you just come out of a rehab center and it is days away from Christmas, you may feel some of those old urges coming up. The holiday season provides a lot of emotional and psychological triggers, even for those who have not been in rehab. However, you can still keep your grip and navigate the pitfalls of holiday triggers. Here is how to do that and cope in a healthy way at the same time.
Know Your Triggers
You should already know your triggers from your time in rehab. When you recognize the triggers from afar and feel them creeping up on you, have an escape plan ready. What will you do? Can you get away from the situation or find a way to avoid it? For example, a recovering alcoholic who attends a holiday party and feels the stress may be tempted to cave to a drink offered. This person sees and knows what is happening, and excuses him/herself from the room to get some air. Quiet outdoors and fresh air for a few minutes can help you refocus and regroup. If your friends and family push you again, call your mentor for help.
Call Your Mentor
Coming out of rehab, you should have a mentor or sponsor, someone who has been where you are and can help. If you cannot escape your triggers or face them head on, call your mentor. Moments of weakness are normal in these situations, and it is okay to ask for help. Your mentor can talk you through it, and formulate a clear plan to execute so that you can avoid falling off the wagon. Most mentors and sponsors understand that the holidays are a really rough time for former addicts, and they are often willing to help despite being in the middle of their own family celebrations.
Do Not Go Anywhere Alone
Take a trusted family member with you if you need to leave the festivities. The biggest problem recovering addicts have is when they leave alone. Doing so may cause you to fall into old habits, wander old haunts where you bought your drug of choice, and then not be able to go back home because everyone would know and see what is going on with you. If you have to go out and get away, that is fine, but do not go alone. That trusted family member can help you stay away from the places you do not want to go to and should not go.