The holidays are a time to celebrate but some on the path to recovery from substance abuse may feel like they have little to celebrate. Particularly for those who are fresh out of rehab and still adjusting to a new normal, recovery can seem a joyless, onerous process. In the early stages, as you’re still dealing with cravings and learning what triggers you need to avoid, recovery seems more like homework than something to be embraced. But those who have been in recovery for a long time can attest, nothing is more worth enjoying during the holidays than recovery.

The best ways a newly recovering addict can keep the holidays is by embracing gratitude and joy in the holiday season by celebrating sobriety.

Let’s admit it upfront: recovery is not always easy. Getting over the hump of detox and treatment may have seemed like the hard part going into rehab, but upon leaving rehab, the recovering addict can realize they have traded one challenge for another. Dealing with the daily grind of living, all while trying to avoid relapse, can be difficult for the freshly sober patient: learning new routines, avoiding old habits and haunts lest they lead to cravings, navigating relationships old and new with the threat of addiction still lurking in the background, all of this can quite hard.

Compounded by the additional stress of holiday chaos, this can all make the holidays seem more like an obstacle course to endure rather than a celebratory time of peace on earth and good will toward men, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, you will have to learn how to handle a variety of situations in recovery and some of them will present challenges. You will have to deal with stress that you didn’t recognize before recovery. You will have to handle issues that your friends see as innocuous but that you know can be extremely dangerous to you and your newfound sobriety, and you will know this is unfair.

None of this matters.

Or, to be more accurate, all of this pales in comparison to where you were before rehab. All the stress and difficulties of recovery – and they will get better as you learn how to better deal with it all over time – is nothing compared to the horrors of addiction. Celebrating the holidays without substance abuse as a constant companion is worth a great deal of challenges, especially knowing that challenges can be overcome.

So don’t let yourself allow the holidays to get you down. You have a great deal to celebrate this holiday season, and your sobriety is one of the most important things on that list of holiday miracles.

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of recovery, embrace joy and gratitude this holiday season. At Good Landing Recovery, the holidays are a time of special significance to everyone, patients and staff alike, and one that should be celebrated, particularly for those who have completed treatment and found new hope in sobriety.

Make this holiday season your season and embrace gratitude and joy amidst the challenges of recovery. Make it your time of triumph by celebrating your sobriety and all it represents in your life.