As the days grow shorter, colder and darker, people find themselves inclined to “batten down the hatches” and stay indoors. This time of the year is known in recovery circles as the “trifecta” (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years). This trifecta creates a very seductive season, with all the commercials, parties, office treats and overabundance of all things sweet, so folks in recovery need to make a very conscious decision to re-commit to sobriety.
If the holidays are for you a joyous time filled with fun and family, relaxation and enjoyment, then hats off to you! If, on the other hand, work is scarce, money is tight, and you are not optimistic about what comes next, or if spending time with family feels like a root canal without Novocain, or simply more of an endurance test than a Norman Rockwell moment, the holidays may require all the determination you can muster to keep yourself sane and content.
Determination to stay sane and content starts with taking stock of what you have and reflecting on ways you can change to meet conditions as they are, recalling you have no control over people, places and things. Regardless of how you feel about the holidays, it is always a good time to think about what you are grateful for, and despite the current difficulties, how it is better than your pre-recovery days of confusion and turmoil.
Remember also that the holiday season, whether good or not so good, will pass – so don’t make decisions about the worth of your life when things are tough…it gets better…nothing stays the same.
The trifecta gives up the opportunity to go to a lot of meetings, reach out to others, and try to find the goodness in as many places as we can!