Once again, the holidays are right here. And you guessed it right – lots of food, and alcohol. If you’re in recovery from addiction, then there are lots of temptations. You’ll attend get-togethers and parties with family and friends. Of course, food, snacks, booze, and probably some drugs. Not even a single holiday has ever passed with you in a sober state. Do you watch friends and family have the fun as you watch? Stress and anxiety are bound to build given the intense peer pressure. Unfortunately, any other attempt at alcohol and substance abuse and that marks the end of your recovery journey to sobriety. So how to do you navigate through the coming holidays sober? Here are a few tips to get you through without losing your sobriety in the process.
Remember, You’re Under No Obligation to Attend
Where you can, you can skip a few of the many parties and gatherings organized by family and friends. You’ve been attending them over the years and not attending this time around will help stick to your recovery from addiction. The chances are that your friends will be drunk beyond and won’t tell if you showed up or not. It’s for your own good.
Have a Plan in Place
If you have to attend the parties and gatherings, then you need to have a clear plan of leaving sober in case you feel tempted. At parties particularly those that comprise young and middle-aged people, it reaches a point where they get really messy and uncontrollable. Every person is highly intoxicated, and they get louder and at times, rowdy. If it gets to that point, you can pretend you want to visit the washroom, exit the venue and catch a ride home.
Make Your Recovery Your #1 Priority
Irrespective of what comes up, let recovery be your goal and stick with it. It means learning how to stay sober at any time and particularly during the coming holidays given the temptations you’ll encounter. From the instant you choose to lead a sober life, recovery becomes your second nature. You’ll need to adjust your way of life slightly. Cultivate the discipline to turn down some parties, break some friendships and avoid certain places that are evident triggers. That’s necessary if you’re to stay on the right track.
Grab a Non-Alcoholic Beverage and Don’t Let Go
In fact, you can tie this to having a plan before you even attend the party or gatherings where alcohol is likely to feature. Prepare a list of drinks you’ll take when at the party. Be sure to order your drinks of choice immediately you get to the venue.
In case anyone suggests that you have an alcoholic drink, turn it down unapologetically. And don’t forget if you cannot withstand the temptation with alcohol everywhere, call a sober person or leave on your own.
Treat the Holidays like Any Other Day
Undoubtedly, holidays are crucial but a single day's fun shouldn't be the reason for later regrets. It doesn't make sense to agonize over the idea of denying yourself some fun if you think it'll be overboard.
What that implies is that you should assume that holidays are just recovery days like others. No amount of pressure, anxiety or stress should make you give up. Many people still attend meetings on the holidays, with many clubhouses holding 24-hour meeting marathons to help people make it through the holidays sober.
Always Keep in Mind, You're Not Alone
There’s no denying you’ll feel empty, and lonely seeing friends and family having endless fun. Remember that you’re just one in a sea full of people under recovery experiencing the same.
You can deal with the excess desire by sharing with fellow people in recovery found in forums or social media, a sober person, or even your therapist. Keep in contact with your sponsor and support group throughout the day if you feel comfortable around your family and friends who may be partaking in drinking etc.
Do the Things That Encourage You to Remain Sober
Make sure that you do the simple things you believe will fight the temptation to drink or drug. Keep reminding yourself that you can. Even if it means volunteering to be the driver, do it, so you're not tempted to drink. Whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen or chairing a meeting these things can help you remain sober and give back in the process.
Stay Sober, No Matter What
Don’t allow the holidays to ruin your recovery. You can, and you'll fight the temptation of drinking or drugging.
Are you looking to overcome alcohol and substance abuse? Pax House is a facility providing a calm environment for detoxification, drug rehab, and aftercare planning. We're located in the foothills of Altadena, and we take pride in having highly-trained, licensed, certified and compassionate clinicians and staff members. All our treatment services are tailored to the needs of every client. For more information, call us at (877)–789-5592.