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Coping with Addiction & Recovery During the Holidays
by Laurie S., parent and advocate
This is my daughter’s third year celebrating the holidays while in recovery. Six weeks prior to Thanksgiving 2017, she had left her third treatment center and was on the streets in Pennsylvania; five weeks before Thanksgiving she was back in Maryland and on medication-assisted treatment for opioids; and four weeks prior to the holiday she was living in a local sober-living house. Needless to say, for the past few years, how the holidays were going to unfold for our family was a complete unknown.
Thanksgiving in our house is a mandatory holiday. Family from all over the country converge on our house for a week filled with laughter, food, and a bit of family tension. We’re a blended family that is comprised of blood, steps, and friends. Our daughter’s addiction, and newly found recovery, was an element that added to the family tension.
There are four kids in total — my daughter with addiction is the youngest and all of the others live out of state. Looking back, this Thanksgiving was the first with everyone together since the full impact of addiction hit our family. I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Do I ask everyone not to drink? What about those who partake in marijuana? My husband and I had lots of conversations between us but didn’t really involve the rest of the family. We did, however, ask our daughter what she wanted. Here’s what we collectively decided to do.