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What If You Can’t Handle The Holidays?

We’re becoming more and more familiar with this sensation as internet memes and empathized tweets share the sentiment worldwide. Some days, we just can’t. There’s no more energy or motivation left to continue doing whatever it is we have to be doing and bearing the burden of the stress of life. Our self-care has run dry, our coping mechanisms aren’t working, and the bottom line is that our overactive sympathetic nervous systems are overpowering our recovery efforts.

Sometimes, this happens in our recovery. Our greatest mistake in getting sober or finding recovery from trauma is thinking that recovery means perfection- we won’t have issues, we won’t be stressed, and we’ll be able to handle everything that comes our way perfectly. We don’t have to do the holidays perfectly. In fact, if we don’t want to, we don’t have to do the holidays at all.

This year, let’s vow to change our perspective on “handling” the holidays as if the holidays are something we are obligated to follow. Instead, lets look at the holidays as what they are, days of the year with special emphasis, which have little influence on the value of who we are as individuals. We don’t have to handle the holidays. There’s nothing to handle. We do, however, have to handle ourselves- our mental wellbeing, our physical wellbeing, and our spiritual wellbeing. We have to handle our recovery first and foremost and if that means not “handling” the holidays, then we simply don’t have to.

It’s a fine line in recovery between acting selflessly and acting selfishly in addition to learning how to discern between the two issues. Sometimes a most selfless act for the rest of the world is a selfish act on our part. We’re not required to show up for anything we don’t want to, which is easily confused in recovery when we think we have to show up for everything we don’t want to because it is a demonstration of how capable we are. Our capabilities and strength in recovery in life is not only demonstrated by the challenges we take on in adversity but the challenge of creating serenity in our lives as well.

Consider taking the holidays off. Take a vacation, plan a road trip, or choose to “celebrate” in a completely different way. You don’t have to “handle” anything that doesn’t directly relate to your wellbeing in recovery. This year, if the holidays aren’t part of your recovery, just remember, it’s okay to do things a little differently.

If you or someone you know has struggled immensely with trauma, help is available. Call The Guest House Ocala today for information on our residential treatment programs for trauma, addiction, and related mental health issues. 1-855-483-7800