Every day in treatment is planned. When you open your eyes each morning, you’ve got a defined idea of what your day will hold, even if you can’t anticipate the surprises that may appear. You know the safety nets that are in place to help you navigate challenges that arise and where to go to find support in times of uncertainty. While being away from your loved ones and the comforts of home can be challenging, there is a measure of peace in the consistency that your treatment offers. The idea of navigating early recovery after treatment, especially as the holidays approach, may feel like fragile magic.
The double-edged sword of structure in life after treatment
Suddenly your time is yours to do with as you please. It’s a great gift, but it can also be a heavy burden to take on as the year winds down, and obligations ramp up. The responsibility of recovery while balancing reunion visits and festive celebrations amid establishing a new normal is a lot, and it might feel like it’s just too much, long overdue or a bit of both. Too many options, too suddenly, and not enough of the outlined organization you came to rely on to navigate your day.
The structure of recovery helps you mitigate the risk of falling back on old patterns that contributed to engaging with misuse behaviors, especially in treatment spaces like The Ranch Tennessee, where we strive to offer opportunities you may not have experienced before. With these adventurous engagements with growth and healing suddenly removed from your daily routine, the familiar may be feeling a lot closer to hand and harder to resist. Even if you were looking forward to the freedom of returning to managing your own time, it could be hard.
Recovery during the holidays…what you’re feeling is okay
Whether you are grateful for the new flexibility in your schedule or overwhelmed by it, those feelings are valid. Making space to observe and affirm what you’re feeling is a valuable part of your continued healing. Get familiar with their emotional roots and address them in your ongoing therapeutic support or with trusted loved ones.
Those therapeutic spaces aren’t reserved for emotions that are easy or clear. The complicated and heavy feelings that occupy your brain space must also be welcome in your recovery journey. Practice recalling the tools you developed in treatment to rewrite your response to cravings, triggers and discomfort in this lifelong process of recovery.
Especially with the ideals of family, togetherness and indulgence emphasized across the holiday season, feelings run high, and stress can run higher. Notice those feelings, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your support network if you fear you are at risk of relapse or feel overwhelmed by your experiences.
Being in recovery during the holidays: magic feels a little different this year
Just as the loss of structure may feel contentious, the return to festive togetherness may be a strange mix of nostalgic frustration. Your recovery journey doesn’t take a holiday vacation, but it’s okay to feel like you need a mental one, especially off the back of a treatment plan newly established.
It’s your first year experiencing a world like this. You have much to celebrate, but it may not be so simple. Gratitude and uncertainty make beautiful friends with growth, though, just as support and encouragement make for your continued recovery.
You’ve done so much hard work to this point, and you don’t have to let go of your support network to celebrate that. We’re here to support you every step of the way. Call us at 888-970-2832.