Holidays of any kind can be a time of heightened emotion or behavior - for anyone, and for someone struggling with substance use! How do you feel heading into tomorrow and the next day?
I was actually just thinking about this. My first thought was…I wish I could just sleep through Christmas and not deal with anything.
I have 3 stepchildren that are good kids. We get along very well. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m sometimes jealous that they do so well in life.
So Christmas Day will be celebrated with them and I won’t be with my son. I may or may not even talk to him. I feel so cheated. Yep, I said it. I feel cheated. How selfish.
Anyway, I can’t sleep through that day, so I will do my best to have a good day and enjoy my family.
I pray that my son is getting well and that we are able to talk and have a positive conversation.
Merry Christmas all.
Wow, I so appreciate you sharing @Susanl_thompson. Please let me assure you that your feeling of being cheated is absolutely valid (and of course you don’t need me to validate anything! ). Must be very hard to not be with you son on Christmas. Thinking of you & your family.
The holidays in general are usually seen as a special magical time filled with nice, happy, and comforting memories. They can also be fueled with stress, anxiety, depression, heightened exposure to family dynamics and concern for our loved ones who are struggling with substance use.
Here are some practical tips to consider this week (and through the new year):
- first if you are feeling anxious, stressed, drained, and/or burnt out make sure to engage in self-care
- work on communicating with your loved one (you can watch the replay of our webinar here for guidance) and figure out ways in which you can be supportive
- encourage your loved one to engage in healthy behavior by modeling healthy behavior yourself
- take a honest look at how the holidays usually go for your family including traditions and expectations to see if things need to shift in order to support your loved one and do what you can to have a healthier holiday
- do what you can to encourage, support, engage in, or even create positive pleasurable experiences that don’t involve substances
Please ‘comment’ below so we can continue this dialogue! I’m here and am happy to help!
A note from Village : Our Coaches are trained in the leading evidence-based methods. If you’re interested to learn more about Coach Erica, click here.
It’s not selfish to feel cheated, @Susanl_thompson! So often being in the position of supporting a loved one we tend to feel selfish for having any feelings, especially negative ones! But you’re allowed to feel how you feel, so much about the holidays is connected to family and being together, so not being with your son is sure to stir up some of those good old feelings! Anything in particular you don’t want to deal with? Is it that you know it’s closer to the new year and he may not have insurance? Or seeing others (your step-children) thrive makes you wish your son were thriving like them?
I hope you’re able to speak with him and have a good conversation, and just try and focus on the positive and not compare. Your son is battling something your step-children may not have to, but he is thriving in that he is fighting his addiction in some way or another! Have a happy holiday and we’re here for you
I feel tempted to do counter productive things during the holidays. My son has been with me for the past several days which has helped me feel so depressed. But he is leaving in 1 hour. So, I will be back alone with my addicted and verbally abusive mom. No one wants to help so I get stuck with her. Not ideal.