Whether you are sober, actively using, or in between this can be a tough time of year for us. So many expectations and forced interactions are upon us. Here are some basics:
1. If you are actively using, plan ahead. Yes, I know that sounds impossible but actually plan ahead. As a person who been ripped off AND dope sick on both Thanksgiving and Christmas, you don't want this to be you. Get a few sub strips as a backup. Dopeboys take holidays too (dirty mfers). I strongly suggest not trying out new dope on these actual days. Nothing spoils the season like ODing in the family bathroom. Get naloxone as a present to yourself.
2. If you are feeling suicidal, tell someone. Call a hotline. Find some online meditations on youtube. Listen to podcasts. Go to a support group for the social element. Even if you feel they are judgy and full of shit, getting out can be a good thing. Set up a tune appt with your provider if the season generally does you in. Keep a journal.
3. If you are on MAT, find out what days the clinic is closed. What is the takehome schedule? What will your insurance do in terms of refills? Don't assume the clinic is closed/open because of the holidays. Do not assume your insurance will fill your meds a day early. I have seen folks plan elaborate trips without pre arranging medication requests only to end up going empty handed and quickly very very sick when their meds ran out. (This goes for psych meds, any kind of meds).
4. Do Not Feel obligated to buy things you cannot afford.
5. Do Not feel obligated to hang out with people who treat you like garbage. Who knows, maybe you can even pick up some extra shifts at a seasonal job. A great excuse not to come around AND moneys.
6. Always have an escape plan. How can I get out of here and back to safety? If everyone is drunk, can I get home. If I am too sick to deal, how am I aborting this mission? Do your homework.
7. Is there something good about this time of year you can focus on? Make a favorite dish, go to a favorite spot, watch ELF in your flannel pajamas. Make the cat wear a funny hat and take pictures. Put a jingle bell around the dog. Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. It's your life, grab it and enjoy it while you can.
8. BE SAFE. Despite how you may be feeling, someone loves you. Feelings are not fact. Feelings will pass. If you have to use anonymous forums, crisis lines, and a copious amount of pumpkin pie to make it to the next day, we love you. We understand.
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