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Christmas and Loneliness

When asked about their favorite holidays, the majority of the population claims Christmas is their favorite above all others. When we think of Christmas, we are often filled with feelings of love and contentment. However, as the holiday approaches each year, those of us dealing with recovery often succumb to a series of negative emotions. One of the most common and highly detrimental emotions often brought on by the onset of Christmas is loneliness.

Frantic holiday preparations, family functions with folks you may not be so excited to see, and financial stress due to unexpected expenses and gift purchases all create higher levels of stress and cause emotions to be in turmoil. When our emotions become unpredictable and vary widely, it is easy to be more sensitive than normal. Songs that bring back memories, both sad and joyful, fill our ears and the feelings tied to those memories fill our hearts. Sometimes it is remembering a lost loved one and the Christmas’ you spent with them. Other times its watching other people interacting in loving, familiar relationships that you may not have in your life this year. All of these feelings are normal and you are not alone.

Dealing with recovery can be an emotional time, especially in the early stages as your body rids itself of the sometimes long-lasting effects of drugs and alcohol. As the body heals itself, the mind often has its own healing to do. During the mind’s healing process, old wounds can reopen and bring loneliness into your heart. It is critical to remind yourself during this time that you are not alone, and this is all part of the process.  

In times of loneliness, especially during the holiday season, gratitude will ease the pain. Gratitude shifts the focus of your thoughts and energy from feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and loss to emotions of peace, thankfulness, and gratefulness. These positive emotions will multiply in a short time and loneliness will dissipate. If you are still struggling, consider keeping a gratitude journal. Regularly make note of the things you have to be thankful for within your life. Nothing is too small! When you are having a particularly rough moment, read through your journal. You may even add pictures or the lyrics to songs that inspire you and make you smile. This technique is simple and effective.

Christmas is an amazing time of year, but dealing with addiction can complicate things and take away some of the joy. Make this Christmas the first in a long list of sober holidays. Villa Tranquil is a comprehensive recovery facility that provides a variety of services to help you transition from your primary treatment plan to your everyday life. If you or a loved one is dealing with addiction and needs additional support, guidance, and a strong support system, please call Villa Tranquil at 866-697-7573 to get the help you need today.