It’s Okay to NOT Be Okay at the Holidays
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Sarah Allen Benton, MS, LMHC, LPC, AADC
The holidays are not always a Hallmark movie. There are so many expectations and images of what the holiday season SHOULD be. These perfectionistic ideals and comparisons either to years prior or to other people’s experience can often leave us feeling disappointed. Holiday cards arrive with smiling faces of families appearing in perfect harmony, when many times, behind the scenes they are struggling with the many challenges that life can present. Social media adds another variable in terms of allowing the optics of other people’s lives to be visible for all to see.
This year may not have been the best for many individuals and therefore, they are not feeling their same enthusiasm for the upcoming festivities. The pandemic aftershocks continue to rumble and there is a good chance that many people are not “okay” given the staggering increases in mental health, addiction, marital and interpersonal issues. In addition to not feeling “ok” during this time of year, it is common to have a secondary judgement about these emotions and how one would want to feel. That dissonance can be confusing and also something that may exacerbate the malaise.
For those who are in early sobriety, the first holiday season sober can be full of many challenges that can include: interpersonal, family, social events, financial, physical, psychological, housing, legal and more. These situations may become exaggerated during this time of year and vulnerability for relapse may also increase.
The In-Home Addiction Treatment (IHAT) model is uniquely positioned to support clients in their home environment to navigate all of these potential obstacles. Having a team of professionals who can identify and support the early sobriety process is invaluable. The IHAT treatment team is available to support clients in learning that circumstances ebb and flow as well as moods and recovery status.
The IHAT Institute is currently training healthcare professionals throughout 8 states in this innovative treatment model. The New Year is approaching and it is a great time for healthcare professionals to make a change and to learn about a model that makes addiction treatment accessible, comprehensive and affordable.