The holidays are in full swing now. As people are finishing up their last-minute shopping and preparation, those of us who are new in recovery are acutely aware of the effort it takes us to remain in recovery.
The last couple of years have been a challenge for everyone. Aside from pandemic stress, this time of year brings additional triggers such as family relationships, greater stress at work, and even more traffic on the roads. To make matters worse, alcohol and mind-altering substances seem to be more prevalent – accessible nearly anyplace, anytime.
For those who are inactive in addiction, the holiday season often brings more intense desires to drink or use. Addiction is often at its worst through the holiday season. The excess in substance use can often cause one to hit their bottom, finally becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired. The New Year brings many into recovery, and many are successful. But the excess also leads to a much higher overdose rate, and this year holiday overdoses are set to be worse than any time in history.
The pandemic has brought the highest opioid overdose rates the U.S. has ever seen. In 2020, statistics show that over 92,000 people died of an opioid overdose, primarily fentanyl. Recently, researchers announced that over 100,000 people died of an opioid-related overdose in the period between April 2020 and April 2021. Their findings indicate that pandemic overdoses are still on the rise, and much more work is needed to overcome this problem.
Having a solid foundation in recovery is the only way to avoid hitting bottom or potential death. It is the positive outcome – the hope and light of those who love someone with an addiction. We build on our recovery through self-improvement and healthy coping mechanisms, as explained through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We heal through the emotional traumas that led us to our addictions in the first place.
The holidays aren’t the only stressful times in our lives; there will be many others. Our healthy coping mechanisms keep us sane through the stress. We build relationships with others who hold us strong during the most difficult times. When we finally find recovery, we come to understand that we are valuable, lovable, and capable of love. We find a whole new life that is so much better than we could have anticipated. Once we come to know this peace, the desire to drink or use begins to fade away.
At Miracles In Action, we are owned and operated by people in recovery. We have walked this path before, finding success on the other side. Our passion is to not just save lives but to help people learn to love their lives. Our goal is to help others weather the storms in their own lives as healthy, happy individuals.