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Recovering Through the Holidays: You’re Not Alone

Woman with mask outside during holidays

With only two days until the last night of Hannukah, nine days until Christmas, and preparations for all kinds of (virtual) festivities in full swing, we at EHN Canada want to wish you a very safe and happy holiday season. If there was ever a year to celebrate it being nearly over and to connect with loved ones, it is absolutely 2020.

While many of us will still face significant challenges this holiday season, we just want to remind you that you’re not alone. Now more than ever, if you need support in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out to a friend or a loving family member. You can also contact us at EHN–our team can help guide you in the right direction for addiction or mental health support that is fits for you.

If you’re looking for some inspiration as someone in recovery, considering treatment, or supporting a loved one, here are five interviews that are chock-full of stories of strength and hope to give you some comfort this holiday season:

Ken’s story

Before recovery, Ken used to find himself stocking up before celebrations, only to run out multiple times. “At my worst, I was going through 40oz every other day and hiding alcohol around the house as well. It was never enough.” Now he shares how grateful he is to spend time with his loving family: “I am just constantly smiling on the inside and thinking, ‘thank you.'” Read Ken’s full experience here.

Jeff’s story

Jeff reflects on how alcohol became a big part of his holidays. “Christmas was actually the first time I had a drink… I think I was 10 or 11 years old, ” he notes. “We thought we were so grown up.” He shares his tips for attending treatment or staying sober over the holidays because “healing is a process. There will be happy, joyous, and free days ahead.” Read Jeff’s full experience here.

Alex’s story

After many cold and lonely years, Alex recalls his most memorable Christmas: the one he spent in treatment. Now he is overjoyed to volunteer his time wrapping presents for current Edgewood patients and to be able to show up for his extended family. For those of you with a loved one struggling, Alex says, “Don’t be surprised if your loved one needs to leave a family Christmas event to go to a meeting or meet a friend in recovery. It is generally not about the family… it is about your loved one needing some extra support.” Read Alex’s full experience here.

An anonymous story

Despite that this person felt like they needed to use substances to remove other people’s expectations, the cycle itself became even more overwhelming: “It got to a point where no amount of drugs, alcohol or gambling could fill the void. I felt like I couldn’t escape… Every year it was the same.” Now, strengthened by family support, clear boundaries, better communication, and new traditions, they are grateful to be part of family gatherings again: “even if that means I burned the turkey, I still did it sober, and that is all my family ever wanted.” Read this full experience here.

Brooke’s story

Brooke admits that her holidays before recovery were “absolutely terrible,” filled with anxiety and shame. As she mentions, treatment anytime can be challenging–including during the holidays–but is hugely impactful. “This is just one holiday away from home, focused on your healing. Your family wouldn’t want it any other way,” she says. “You are loved and worth it.” Read Brooke’s full experience here.

Whatever you may be coping with, you are never alone, even when it may feel that way. If you need anything holiday season, please do not be afraid to reach out to someone who cares about you and ask for help. Together, we can already start working towards a brighter, healthier 2021.


EHN Canada Can Help You

If you would like to learn more about the addiction and mental health treatment programs provided by EHN Canada, enroll yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at one of the numbers below. Our phone lines are open 24/7—so you can call us anytime.
• 1-800-387-6198 for Bellwood Health Services in Toronto, ON
• 1-587-350-6818 for EHN Sandstone, in Calgary, AB
• 1-800-683-0111 for Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC
• 1-888-488-2611 for Clinique Nouveau Depart in Montreal, QC
• 1-888-767-3711 for virtual outpatient support, available wherever you are


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