The Dangerous Waiting Game

Mother is waiting at home, holidays

Deciding to get sober isn’t a simple choice. That may sound crazy, but the reality is addicts can come up with a million excuses as to why they can’t stop using to go to rehab. Many people also want to spend the holidays with family before they leave for treatment. But, will it be too late?

During the holiday season, many of us want to spend time with our families. Holidays are advertised as joyous, loving, and relaxing times. We seem to forget how stressful and triggering the holidays can be since they can cause people to feel lonely, reflect on the past, and pressured to be seen as perfect. These feelings can lead to relapse, increased use of drugs or alcohol, or overdose.

I’ve heard many stories of people who are addicts and want treatment but want to wait till after the holidays. They want to spend time with their families before they go to rehab and don’t want to miss out on a holiday. They end up using more in order to escape the harsh reality that’s before them. In their mind, they believe they can never get help, there is no escape from the pressures of life, and there is no escape from their addiction. Next thing they know, these stresses them cause them to continue to use which in turn causes them to overdose and die.

The hardest part of going to rehab is the realization you have to put what you need above what you want. Growing up, I never wanted to be an addict, or have to go to rehab. I wanted to be a veterinarian and have a family. Somewhere on that road, I lost my way. I didn’t know how to handle my problems, and one drink led to many, which led to a never-ending amount. Deciding to come to rehab was one of the hardest choices I’ve had to make in life, but it ended up being the best. If I had put it off, who knows where I could’ve ended up. For the past two years, I have spent my mom’s birthday in rehab even though all l have ever wanted to do was make her proud. Choosing to go to rehab and putting my wants aside and focusing on what I needed made her more proud than I ever could have ever imagined.

Our parents never stop seeing us as their babies. We don’t recognize ourselves when we are deep in our addiction and neither do our parents or family. At the end of the day, our parents want what’s best for us. They don’t want to see us struggle with anything, let alone an addiction that can take us away from them. Missing one holiday will hurt, but in the end, it will be okay. Missing every holiday for the rest of their lives is much worse. No parent wants to lose their child or have to bury them.

Ultimately, we all want to make our parents proud. Admitting we have a problem is the first step, seeking help is the next, and following through and going is the last step. Getting help as soon as you need it will make your parents proud. Waiting can lead you down a road of confusion, denial, and possibly death. During this holiday season, give your parents the best gift they could ever ask for, a sober, healthy, happy child.

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, seek treatment before it’s too late. Many people want treatment but don’t pursue it in time. Give your parents and loved ones the best gift this holiday season, the gift of sobriety.


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.