The holidays tend to bring happiness and joy to those around you; however, for some, it can bring misery. The holidays can usher in an assortment of triggers like family issues, heartache, and grievances, to name a few.
Holiday stressors can lead some to turn to substances or other destructive habits, such as:
- Excessive drinking. Along with many social gatherings, the holidays mean alcohol, which can be dangerous for alcoholics and those who struggle with addiction. There tends to be a lot of pressure for people to experience the “joy” of the season.
- Feeling of not fitting in. This negative emotion can hit you when you see others being so happy, either at home or out at holiday parties. Holidays make some people stressed and anxious, especially in social situations, which can be a challenge to cope with.
- Forced joy. Joy is hard to fake. The stress of trying to be happy and please everyone around you can be difficult to manage. This is especially true of the season we're told should be the most wonderful time of the year.
- Overeating. With the amount of food at family, friends, and office gatherings, it is difficult not to try everything and thus overeat. Once you have crossed that line of overeating, taking the anger or misery you feel from your lack of self-control out on yourself can be a trigger for relapse.
- Lack of sleep. Nothing is handled well when people are short on sleep. It is dangerous.
Please keep in mind that these are some of the trigger points for drug and alcohol relapses, but not all. Everyone is different and experience different situations. If you or anyone you love are having difficulties with these triggers, please talk to a trusted medical professional. Work with a doctor to find a treatment program as soon as possible.