holidays

Hosting An Addict At A Holiday Party

If you're wondering how to deal with a loved one's addiction issues while still making them welcome at a holiday party, this previous post by blogger Bill W. may provide some help and assurance.

Folks in the addiction and alcoholism treatment fields are often asked about how a host should handle a holiday party attended by recovering friends. Social occasions that involve people in recovery, especially those in early recovery — can pose some perplexing problems for a host.

On one hand, a host who is aware of a guest’s need to avoid mood-altering substances may wish to do what is possible to keep from exposing them to temptation. On the other hand, social drinking is a part of everyday American culture. Most social gatherings involve some drinking by some of the guests, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, for some of us, it might not be the healthiest of environments, and a host may be at a loss as to how she ought to deal with guests who are in recovery. Here are some pointers on how to handle this delicate situation while, at the same time, being fair to all.

Read more: http://sunrisedetox.com/blog/2011/12/10/addicts-alcoholics-holidays-parties-3/

In Recovery, How Do I Get People To Treat Me Normally?

How do we keep our family and friends from treating us like patients, or walking on eggshells around us, especially around times of celebrations?

First of all, we need to understand that they are doing it because they love us, and are trying to protect us.  It does seem as though they’re attempting to control us in subtle ways, and because we’re feeling something like normal for the first time in years, we want to be treated that way.

However, we need to remember that, to a great degree, we are responsible for those eggshells.  It is probably going to be a while before we can expect to be treated like a normal person.  We need to earn trust and respect by being trustworthy and respectable; we are not entitled to them just because we’ve been sober for a few weeks, or even months.  As the AA saying goes, “Don't expect a medal just because you're finally doing what you should have been doing.”

On their part, our families need to understand that hearing eggshells cracking all the time is irritating, and that the best thing they can do for us in early recovery is to try to treat us as normally as possible — apart from putting temptation in front of us.

That may be hard for them, though.  Remember that for however long we were using, they got used to treating us in certain ways.  Nowadays, our total reality has been turned inside-out, but theirs hasn’t changed much at all.  Change takes time, understanding and trust. Because they do love us and want us to succeed in our recovery, they naturally feel awkward around us because they don’t know what to do.  While that can be really annoying, it’s generally not all that hard to deal with.

We need to sit down with them, discuss our recovery, and honestly let them know how we feel.  If we’re not able to do that yet, we can write them a respectful letter.  If we're seeing a counselor, we can try to arrange a family session.  We need to tell them that while we appreciate their concern, we’d like them to try to relax and be themselves.  They need to know that we’re not going to head for the street or a bar just because someone mentions drinking, or refers to things that might remind us of the past.

We need to let them know that we don’t want to “forget the past, nor wish to shut the door on it,” and that we’ll be bringing it up ourselves from time to time.  They need to know that we don’t expect them to change their lives to accommodate us.

One of the things we can do is ask them to read this article.  Regarding the celebration issue, we can refer them to this article about parties that I publish every year around the Winter Holidays.  Finally, in the case of those who were most affected by our using, we can suggest that they consider a few Al-Anon or NarAnon meetings to learn a little more about living with people in recovery.

Most of all, we need to remember that these people love us.  They want to trust us.  They want us back in their lives.  They want what’s best for us.  They always have.  If we remember these things, and that they’re just doing the best they can — the same as us — it makes getting along a lot easier.

Holidays Can Be Hazardous for Alcoholics And Other Addicts

Last week I posted a couple of articles about sobriety during the holidays. We talked about ways to be safer at holiday parties, and mentioned some ways that people with recovering guests can make things easier for them by observing some simple guidelines. In this third article, I’d like to discuss some of the hazards of holidays in general.

Holidays, especially the Winter holidays, are times when our emotions are near the surface. For those of us in early recovery, it sometimes seems imperative to get to family gatherings and let everyone know how we’re doing, make up for some bad behavior in the past, see loved ones, and generally try to fit in again. There’s nothing wrong with that on the surface, and yet there are several major hazards That we need to keep in mind. [Read more…]

Addicts, Alcoholics and Holiday Parties: What’s A Hostess To Do?

Folks in the addiction and alcoholism treatment fields are often asked about how a host should handle holiday parties attended by recovering friends.  Social occasions that involve people in recovery, especially those in early recovery, can pose some perplexing problems for a host.

On one hand, a host who is aware of a guest’s need to avoid mood-altering substances may wish to do what is possible to keep from exposing them to temptation.  On the other hand, social drinking is a part of everyday American culture. Most social gatherings involve some drinking by some of the guests, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, for some of us, it might not be the healthiest of environments, and a host may be at a loss as to how she ought to deal with guests who are in recovery. Here are some pointers on how to handle this delicate situation while, at the same time, being fair to all.

There are some simple things to remember. [Read more…]

Should you be worried about your use of alcohol (and, perhaps, other drugs) over the holiday weekend?

Should we be worried about our use of alcohol (and, perhaps, other drugs) over the holiday weekend?

We've been back at work for a couple of days.  The fuzzy head has cleared up.  Maybe we've made that pledge that so many of us have made on the morning (or afternoon) of January 1st, something on the order of, “Man! I'm never going to do that to myself again!”

Never again! (nih.gov)

A bit of cutting loose on New Year's Eve is thoroughly ingrained in our culture, and that of most others through the world. There is something about the holiday — perhaps our resolutions to clean up our act in the coming year — that seems almost to demand it.  Nonetheless, if we tied one on, we may be concerned.

The main thing to look at is our pattern of drinking throughout the year, not our behavior on New Year's Eve. Do we get trashed once a year? Once a month? Do we drink five drinks or more in one sitting? Do we do it often?

Have we ever had a blackout? Contrary to popular belief, “blackout” does not refer to drinking until we pass out — although the two sometimes go hand-in-hand. Rather, a blackout is when we remain conscious, keep partying, and then lose complete track of what we did. Friends tell us about it later on. Relatives comment on late-night phone calls, and we haven't the foggiest notion of what we talked about. We wake up on a concrete slab wearing orange pajamas, and don't know how we got there. Stuff like that.

One blackout, like one DUI, may have been poor judgement. More than one — ever — indicates a problem that needs looking at. Folks without problems don't get a second DUI; they learned their lesson. People who got sick drunk, or otherwise impaired to the point of blackout, are the same way. If it's a recurring pattern, there's a problem.

Did we catch hell from our partner about our behavior? Partner have a black eye? Boss a little cool after the office party? Friends less than friendly? Car dented or misplaced? So sick we couldn't get in to work? Calling in sick after another weekend? Is there a pattern here?

It's not up to professionals to decide if we need help (at least until we mess up to the point that someone has to), it's up to us.

Bottom line: If we're wondering if we have a problem, we probably do. Lying to other folks is rude, and may get is in hot water. Lying to ourselves about our drinking and drugging may ruin the rest of our lives.

Check out the screening tests at the top right of this page, in the sidebar.  They don't take long, but they can tell you a lot.

Addicts, Alcoholics and Holiday Parties:
What’s A Hostess To Do?

Folks in the addiction and alcoholism treatment fields are often

asked about how a host should handle holiday parties attended by recovering friends.  Social occasions that involve people in recovery, especially those in early recovery — can pose some perplexing problems for a host.

On one hand, a host who is aware of a guest’s need to avoid mood-altering substances may wish to do what is possible to keep from exposing them to temptation.  On the other hand, social drinking is a part of everyday American culture. Most social gatherings involve some drinking by some of the guests, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, for some of us, it might not be the healthiest of environments, and a host may be at a loss as to how she ought to deal with guests who are in recovery. Here are some pointers on how to handle this delicate situation while, at the same time, being fair to all.   [Read more…]

Addicts, Alcoholics and Holiday Parties:What’s A Hostess To Do?

Folks in the addiction and alcoholism treatment fields are often

asked about how a host should handle holiday parties attended by recovering friends.  Social occasions that involve people in recovery, especially those in early recovery — can pose some perplexing problems for a host.

On one hand, a host who is aware of a guest’s need to avoid mood-altering substances may wish to do what is possible to keep from exposing them to temptation.  On the other hand, social drinking is a part of everyday American culture. Most social gatherings involve some drinking by some of the guests, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, for some of us, it might not be the healthiest of environments, and a host may be at a loss as to how she ought to deal with guests who are in recovery. Here are some pointers on how to handle this delicate situation while, at the same time, being fair to all.   [Read more…]