Surviving Dysfunctional Holidays

If you happen to be one of the millions who has a loved one that struggling with alcoholism, you might find the holidays a frustrating time. Whether their behavior is embarrassing, they bring the mood down or they’re just plain unpredictable, family gatherings can end with hurt feelings and disappointment.

But if a loved one has a problem, then your whole family has a problem – and chances are, holiday functions will only get worse unless your loved one gets help.

Treatment facilities and help centers operate right before the holidays. We don’t advise waiting for treatment; the best time to get help is now, but this isn’t possible for every family. If immediate treatment isn’t an option, help things run more smoothly and get help right after the holidays. Be aware of the possibility of conflict between the angry and/or intoxicated individual and the object of his or her resentments. Talk to other family members beforehand and ask for help in calming confrontations, and the understanding that everyone is in this together – and you will get your loved one to treatment as soon as you can.

Other suggestions: Do not serve alcohol, keep the atmosphere light and if a family member can’t make a gathering due to his or her drinking, talk to the kids about it.


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