New Year sparklerThis blog post was published on January 1, 2018. This is the first day of the year, New Year’s Day, on many calendars in many countries.

People celebrate the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one in many ways. These ways include attending parties and drinking alcohol such as Champagne.

For some people, New Year’s Eve (December 31st, the day before New’s Day) involves drinking a LOT of alcohol.Other people seem to expect this behavior as sort of a New Year’s tradition.

For example, around these holidays, you often see advertising for transportation services that provide rides home for people who may be too drunk to drive themselves home. You see messages about drinking and driving from public safety groups, anti-drunk driving organizations, even alcohol manufacturers themselves.

Given the connections many people make between drinking and New Year’s celebrations, it seems that some people expect to drink (and drink heavily) to commemorate these occasions. Not surprisingly, this attitude can lead to a relapse from sobriety.

Relapses can be dangerous. The can be immediately dangerous because they mean that someone is under the influence and might drive or participate in other activities in this impaired state.

Relapses are dangerous in a big picture sense as well. Some people may look at relapses as failures in their recoveries. They may think that since they’ve failed once, they might as well keep drinking because they’re destined to continue to fail and never achieve sobriety again.

Although this view is common, it’s also wrong. Many people attend rehab centers more than once. Sobriety groups have members who have “fallen off the wagon” and begun drinking and using drugs again. Relapses are common. Good assistance recognizes that people stumble and finds ways to help them with these miscues.

Such attitudes make sense. We all make mistakes at work and in our personal lives from time to time. Are we failures because of these occasional mistakes? Definitely not. We shouldn’t consider ourselves to be failures if we struggle with addiction, especially since addiction is such a hard condition to handle in the first place.

Maybe our New Year’s resolution should be to take it easy on ourselves. Doing so could help us with relapses or other issues.