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Continuing our conversation with Lee McCormick who is the founder and co-owner of the Ranch Recovery Center in Tennessee, where a holistic and spiritual approach to addiction has been used with success. Click here to read Part 1 of our exclusive Voices of Recovery discussion.

When we left off, we asked Lee about addiction recovery steps and tips for those in recovery over the holidays.

Lee McCormick- Another key to staying clean and sober during the holidays is to do something very standard in recovery work…and that is to create a gratitude list. What am I grateful for today? Who I am today? What are the opportunity’s that am thankful for today? Staying in the moment and realizing the many things we can, and should be grateful for , is key to anyone’s recovery and especially pronounced this time of year. Yes we all have baggage to deal with the addiction recovery steps we have taken, but this time of year let it go-stop feeding the baggage, stop pulling it up, it is done and pulling it up does nothing but set up the possibility of an emotional reaction. The gratitude list helps us stay connected with those aspects of our lives we are grateful for. Your list can have people, your support groups, your hobbies, any positive activity, group, person, place or thing that brings solace and a positive stability should be on the list. Reconnecting with those things we are most grateful can be the difference maker.

Voices of Recovery- Is this a time where more people seek sobriety and recovery? Does the holiday season make people more introspective towards addiction or is the opposite true where as more opportunities to use alcohol and drugs may ramp up the cycle of addiction?

Lee McCormick- In the treatment business, it takes a very special case for someone to seek drug treatment rehab during the holidays. Be it that someone may not want to leave their loved ones during the holidays and the sentimental aspects of checking into a treatment center just arent at the forefront. And most addicts are living a lie anyway, the pressure of the holidays and the busyness of the holidays makes that process of self reflection far more removed than in other months or seasons. New Years is similar as well, the week after New Years is very, very slow-but the farther away you get from the New Year the more people start seeking help and we start to see a swell in the numbers for those seeking recovery.

Voices of Recovery- Is it common for addicts to “ride the wave” of the holidays and accelerate their use of drugs and alcohol after Thanksgiving through the New Year?

Lee McCormick- An addict will always find a way to abuse drugs and alcohol. An addict does not need a reason to get high. That said, the holiday season offers up far more opportunities that any other time of year. There is excuse after excuse after excuse to get in the middle of it and use the holidays as a smoke screen because many people party and indulge this time of year. The difference is, most people stop drinking after the party ends whereas those under the spell of alcohol addiction keeps moving forward. That said, even in the excess of the holiday season there can be those moments where someone may stop and look at themselves and say, “I dont want to do this anymore. I dont want this to be my life.” And at that point some people will take some action.

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