Recovering from a bad relationship with a person or substance is a long, winding road. Holidays tend to be big road bumps on the journey. While most stores, social media feeds, and newspaper headlines are celebrating Mother’s Day, this holiday is a reminder for some about the mistakes of their past. It’s a day on the calendar that women who are in recovery may feel a wave of depression. These sensations are natural. You are coming to terms with some of the things you said, the decisions you made, and regrets you created. Don’t let these moments get the best of you. Here is how to be a better family member this Mother’s Day.
Say I’m Sorry
A big part of the reason we are filled with this dread during the holiday season is that we have remorse over situations in the past. Just as Mother’s Day is an awkward reminder for you about past transgressions, it’s the elephant in the room for your parents, children, and spouse as well.
If you are feeling upset, share it. Say you’re sorry. When it’s the first time you say it, this can be a life-changing experience. For those who are saying it for the thousandth time, it might be cathartic.
In the same breath, if you are in recovery and say you are sorry a thousand times and are reading this; pause for a moment. Now, remember–look at their face the next time you apologize for the thousandth time. Really look. If they look like they forgive you, they do. They probably have for a while. It’s time you forgave yourself. That’s the greatest Mother’s Day gift in the world.
Honestly, you can’t be your best for others if you’re not the best to yourself. That’s what you learned when you started recovery. By being in a bad relationship with a person or substance, you were hurting your relationship with others. This strain was because you weren’t putting your best self forward.
This Mother’s Day, treat yourself. Do something beautiful for yourself. You’ve been through a lot. Your body and mind need a moment of pampering.
Get a massage. Go to the salon. Buy the most expensive coffee at Starbucks. Whatever you do, do it for yourself. You’ll feel good about it, and that little bit of self-esteem will help you face those you love the most on a holiday that can be quite trying.
Spend Time with Loved Ones
How are you supposed to move forward with those you love if they’re not present for moments where memories get created? Don’t punish your family by staying away on holidays you don’t believe deserve to be celebrated. They’ve already been punished enough.
Instead, let them celebrate you. Why shouldn’t they? The person that you’re feeling guilty about isn’t the person they’re celebrating. They’re joyous over your recovery, and you should allow them that joy by joining in on the fun.