‘Tis The Season!
The holidays are right around the corner and with the joy, comes the stress. While many of us are worrying about last-minute gifts, travel plans and baking cookies… there are so many that are facing another sober holiday.
Whether it’s their first sober holiday or their tenth, here are some tips that will help support you. Please remember that if alcohol is going to be flowing, you need to be prepared.
Friend & Office Parties: Do your friends and co-workers know that you are sober? Do you want them to? You can keep your sobriety private, but if drinking is a big thing at either a friend’s party or an office party, you may want a simple reply as to why you are abstaining. Simply saying ‘no thank you’ should suffice. If you were a big drinker at parties past, you can say ‘no thank you’ and leave it at that. No really is an answer — no reasoning is needed. Also, have a plan. If you begin to be uncomfortable, make sure you have a way to leave. Drive yourself or download Uber on your phone for quick access.
Family Gatherings: What outcome are you looking to achieve? What is your family environment like? Family events can be tricky if you are newly sober. Some family members may not believe it or they may be harboring some resentments from holiday’s past. Stay true to who you are and if your family is supportive of your recovery, this can be a beautiful celebration!
Make New Traditions: You can celebrate with sober friends or even spend the holiday alone, reflecting or take yourself to the movies. There are so many options available to you that don’t involve doing what you have always done. Think outside of the box.
Access For Support: Keep the phone numbers of those that support your recovery on speed dial. You don’t know when a craving to drink or use could arise, and there is more of a temptation during the holiday season. Attend an extra meeting. Call your sponsor. Call your recovery coach. There are tons of options, just be sure to choose one of those options before you pick up.
The recovery community talks a lot about people, places and things and the need to change those when we are sober. These three elements have the potential to trigger old memories and the need or want to drink/use.
This is the season for celebration and spending time with family and friends, but if the stress is just too much, it’s okay to not go. The world will continue to go on, even if you aren’t able to attend the party. The key is you are sober and that is cause for personal celebration this holiday season. This holiday is different, and if you are prepared, you will be just fine.