Holiday Time: A Bit Stressed?

By Andre Lamar
Dover Post, Del.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Holidays have you stressed out? You’re not alone. Many people find this time of year ovewhelming for different reasons (family, finances,relationships). However, as Andre Lamar reports, there are things you can do to keep steady through the New Year.

Dover Post, Del.

There’s an anxiousness that hits this time of year: it’s called holiday stress. This overwhelming feeling can stem from various causes.

It could come from the anticipation of hosting family members you’re not thrilled about. You could feel the pressure to buy gifts, despite a tight budget. Or you could be missing a loved one who passed away.

For Don Keister, his holiday stress is related to the latter. Keister co-founded atTAcK Addiction, a statewide nonprofit to support people in recovery, after his son Tyler died of a heroin overdose in 2011.

“The biggest thing is the missed opportunities that he had and the missed opportunities that I had. You know, an empty chair at the Thanksgiving table,” he said.

“At Christmas time we go up to his grave. You try to put [the stress] aside and continue with your life, which you can do most of the time. But there’s times that you can’t, and the holidays expand that,” said Keister, headmaster at Caravel Academy in Bear.

Keister said the holiday season is especially tough for addicts because “those people hate themselves for what they do to their families and loved ones.”

Overdose deaths increased last year in Delaware. In 2017, there were 345, up 12 percent from 308 in 2016, according to the Division of Forensic Science.

To help support those in addiction and recovery, Keister’s team posted information on their Facebook page, directing them to where they can receive a free meal and encouraging them and their families to seek assistance for treatment.

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