Spending the holidays with us
The best Christmas EVER, was the one I spent at the Orchard! I was given a priceless gift…my life back.
Sheri G., Eugene, Oregon.
Why Rehab for Christmas?
At first, the thought of spending the holidays away from family is daunting but for those suffering from addiction, it can be the safest place to be. If you are struggling with addiction or your recovery, come celebrate the holidays at Orchard Recovery, where you’ll be in a tranquil, beautiful setting surrounded by people who want to help.
Many alcoholics and addicts opt to put off going to treatment until after the holidays. For those struggling with addiction, the holidays can prove challenging for a number of reasons. First off, the culture of the holiday season includes a lot of drinking. In addition, the holidays can prove to be tough emotionally for a lot of people. There’s an expectation of perfection – that everyone is going to have a picture perfect family holiday.
People suffering from grief and loss or facing any kind of emotional challenges can find the holidays to be difficult. “If their coping mechanism is to reach for alcohol or reach for a drug, then that intensifies at this time of year,” says Lorinda Strang, Orchard Recovery’s Executive Director. “You can get yourself into even more trouble.”
The holiday season can also prove stressful for the families and friends of those struggling with addiction. “What we have found from the people who actually do come in to treatment is it’s such a relief to the other family members,” says Strang. “Alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease of denial. Often you think you’re fooling everybody. You think that everybody else doesn’t see it; whereas in actual fact, everybody else does see that there’s a problem.”
Family members can find themselves walking on egg shells, worried about how their loved one is going to behave, and whether he or she is going to show up at family gatherings at all, or if there is going to be some kind of catastrophe.
“If you go into treatment, then you’re safe,” says Strang. “Your family knows that you’re safe, and everyone now has hope. You’re providing your family and yourself with peace of mind.”
“I had a wonderful sober Christmas for the first time in many years and I was grateful—it was a gift, a miracle and magical. If it wasn’t for the Christmas I spent at the Orchard, I doubt I would be sober today. I was where I was supposed to be that Christmas.”
Mary M., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
What is it like to spend Christmas at Orchard Recovery Center?
Depending on how long someone has been in our Primary Care program, and with approval from our clinical team, there are opportunities for overnight passes during the holiday season. “Sometimes we have people get approved for a day-pass or an overnight-pass, then they come back and say, ‘I’m so glad I’m back here,’” says Barb Metcalfe, the Director of Family Programs at Orchard. “Many clients come in afraid to deal with the holidays, but they end up forming such strong camaraderie with their peers and having a really positive experience at the Orchard.”
Families may also come to visit their loved ones at the Orchard on Christmas day. The idea of family coming to rehab for a visit at first might seem stressful or triggering but clients and family can take comfort knowing that the Orchard creates a warm and festive holiday environment for all to enjoy. “No matter what day Christmas falls on, that day becomes a Sunday for us, which is a visiting day,” Strang explains. “Your family can come and have a beautiful brunch by a roaring fire and open gifts by the Christmas tree.” After brunch and spending the afternoon together, the families leave and the clients have a traditional turkey dinner and their own festive celebration.
“It was the first time I spent Christmas with my mother since I was 21… I don’t think that I had felt that kind of love in any of my memories at that time.”
Jordan M., Calgary, Alberta
For our Alumni:
We’re ready for some fantastic holiday gatherings. Here is a list of what’s coming up:
- Vancouver Island Friends of the Orchard: Sunday December 16th @ 2:30pm to 3:30pm St St. Aidan’s United Church, 3703 St Aidans St, Victoria, B.C.
- Vancouver Friends of the Orchard Gratitude meeting: Wednesday December 19th @ 7:00pm to 9:00pm St David’s Church 1525 Taylor Way, West Vancouver, B.C.
- December Alumni Day Holiday Gathering – Thursday December 19th 12:30pm to 5:30pm Orchard Recovery Center 811 Grafton Road, Bowen Island, B.C. followed by the alumni meeting at the residence