How To Get Through The Holidays Without Relapsing

Holidays are stressful, but relapse is avoidable. Learn how on bettysbattleground.com

October is coming to a close, which means the holidays are getting started. Soon, we will all be in the thick of it. For those of us in recovery from addiction and/or mental illness, the holidays can be notoriously difficult. It’s not just the fact that alcohol appears at many holiday gatherings. Holidays are also typically associated with family gathering and bonding, which can be a touchy subject for those of us with addiction or mental illness histories.

Mental illness is so heavily stigmatized in our society that if you have anything but the most well-educated, open-minded, and compassionate family members, you have probably experienced some share of stigmatizing from the people who are supposed to protect you. Even if your family is lovely, your own erratic behavior during an active addiction or symptomatic flare-up may cause you to feel shame and embarrassment, whether or not your family did anything to contribute to those feelings.

Relapse doesn’t just mean taking drugs or drinking alcohol. It can also mean relapsing into a dangerous depressive episode, mania, or other symptoms of your condition that were in remission. It would be impossible to specifically address every single potential holiday trigger for every single mental illness. Instead, I’ve put together a list of ways to avoid having a major breakdown during the holiday season. It doesn’t matter what holiday it is–this can even be applied during your birthday–any time when you have extra social, familial, financial, and emotional stressors burdening you is dangerous. Hopefully applying some of these tips can help.

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Healing Words: Overcoming The Complacency Trap In Sobriety

Discover the dangers of complacency on bettysbattleground.com

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.comToday’s guest post comes from a young man who has gone through addiction and come out the other side. But he writes today to remind us that sometimes the “other side” is not as clear-cut as we may believe. Complacency can creep up on a person in recovery without her even realizing it. It’s something we all need to watch out for, and I think that counts for people in any kind of recovery, not just addiction. Don’t get too comfortable, because that’s where relapse hides.

One thing I’d like to note is that I enjoy sharing posts from people from a range of perspectives. Mental illness and recovery are umbrellas that cover many different experiences and perspectives. Sometimes I may not fully agree with everything a guest blogger has written, and that’s okay. Respectful disagreement is part of what makes this world so fascinating.

I’m not making this disclaimer because I don’t agree with the subject of Parker’s article. But he does make some references to Twelve Step programs. Personally, I have a bit of a vendetta against Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. Mostly because of their stance on medication (which is, essentially, don’t use it) but also because they pressure people to speak in religious or spiritual terms, to give up their own power over their recovery, and to permanently label themselves as “addicts.” But that’s just my opinion! If you think differently, I urge you to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Learn how to avoid complacency in recovery on bettysbattleground.comParker’s pragmatic, yet introspective take on substance abuse recovery bridges the gap between science and firsthand experience. He hopes to reach the struggling and the recovering addict where they are at through his writing and communication skills. Parker is currently the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Ambrosia in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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Healing Words: Undoing The Legacy Of Abuse

A guest writer series about the ways we heal-on bettysbattleground.com

Jack’s Story: Undoing The Legacy Of Abuse

Hello! Welcome to the day after you drank too much. How do you feel?

Seriously though, I hope you had a happy 4th of July. Whether you’re an American or not, yesterday was July 4th and I hope it was a nice day for you.  If you are an American, and not a person who has made a commitment to sobriety, there is a good chance you are curled up nursing a hangover as you read this.

And that’s okay. To each his own! I have been there many, many times. So has our author, a recovering alcoholic. Jack is (almost) my first male guest writer. I say almost because Joe from Nature Rated wrote a lovely post for us earlier this year about outdoor activities to do with the kids. I mention this fact anyway, however, because Jack is the first male writer to contribute a personal narrative.

The truth is, I believe that given everything that is going on in my country right now, the only way to be patriotic is through dissent. So I didn’t celebrate American freedom in the usual way yesterday, but I do think freedom is worth celebrating, wherever and however it is found. Jack’s story is absolutely harrowing, but at age 23, this young man is stronger than many middle aged people I have known. The viciousness Jack has experienced is sometimes hard to believe. We don’t like to think of humans as capable of such needless cruelty. But I have experienced this magnitude of abuse myself. People are capable of enormous cruelty.

Yet people are also capable of great bravery and strength. Jack had the strength to ask and accept help, to own his mistakes and culpability in his problems, and to move forward on his mission to help others struggling to overcome similar issues. Jack’s story is one of freedom; freedom from pain, from self-harm, from negative people, and from the cycle of abuse. This week, I’m celebrating Jack’s story.

Read Jack's story on bettysbattleground.com Jack Travis is currently working on becoming a motivational speaker and an author; his goal is to help transform the lives of others using what he knows from personal experiences. Although he’s in a good place now, he struggled most of his life with mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. His road to salvation has been very dark, bumpy, and has consisted of  many necessary detours, but he is now on a journey to happiness and success, and he invites you join him. You may start by following him on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook &YouTube

Find out how one man is choosing to walk away from a lifetime of abuse on bettysbattleground.com

 

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