Sometimes, the family you were born into isn’t one that’s going to be supportive of your efforts to maintain your sobriety. Other times, you might find that there’s just too much dysfunction in your family, or maybe most of your family members have moved on or passed away.
That can make for a difficult holiday season, but there’s something you can do about that. You can create an “intentional family” over the holidays. That gives you a great support network to have a fun and sober holiday season.
Holidays Often Mean Strong Emotions
One thing the holidays are known for is bringing out strong emotions in a lot of people. Sometimes, it can be very stressful to have so many family members all confined in one space. It can lead to pressure, confrontations, and accusations.
You don’t want to be a part of that. Home could also bring up a lot of bad memories, or have some enabling factors that you would prefer to avoid. Rather than try to deal with those emotions, especially when your sobriety is very new, spend time with your intentional family, so you know you’ll have the love and support you’re looking for.
Reinforce Your Sober Lifestyle
Your sober lifestyle can be reinforced by spending time around your intentional family. While they aren’t blood-related to you, they are a group that provides a great atmosphere where you can live in a way that’s comfortable and safe for you.
Sober group functions are a good choice around the holidays, and spending time with friends and therapists you trust can keep you on the right track, even when there are temptations all around you. You may work with your intentional family to volunteer somewhere, or spend time in the outdoors, admiring all nature has to offer.
Plan Your Holidays Ahead of Time
Before you start out on any of your holiday adventures, have a plan. Make sure there are people you can call, any time of the day or night, if you need help. Have places to go, as well, so you can leave situations if they become a problem for you.
If there’s a place you can stay for a day or two, that’s even better. It’s very important that you build a good intentional family, that makes you feel safe and protected during the holiday season. Being honest about your intentional family with your actual family is also a good idea. That way they don’t worry if you have to leave or you choose to spend the holidays without them.
You may want to tell your actual family that it’s nothing personal, even though it might be.
The important thing is that you learn to take control of your own life, and build a supportive network of people who can help you through your journey to becoming and remaining sober and healthy.
If some of your real family members can be a part of that journey, that’s great, but understand that may not be an option. That’s why an intentional family can be such an excellent choice when you need trusted people who can help you with your sobriety.