While most people view the holidays as a joyful time, it can prove to be difficult for someone in recovery. The holidays lead to stress, expectations, bad memories and shopping pressure. If you’ve dealt with previous holidays by drinking or using drugs, you might be reluctant to attend that office holiday party.
Here are all the reasons you might want to reconsider.
1. Participating In Social Events Is Good Therapy
While using, you spend much of your time isolating and avoiding interaction with others. It was often difficult to look people in the eye and be real with them.
This office party gives you the opportunity to learn how to cope with social situations. You can practice the skills you’ve learned in treatment to communicate with others.
Instead of running from your problems, which many addicts do, choose to do something different this year. Face the obstacle, learn from previous mistakes and come out the other side victorious.
2. Be Proud
For many years you’ve gone to parties and embarrassed yourself and others. This is your year to show something different.
You can hold your head up high knowing that you’ve made choices which are changing your life for the better. People will notice and you will have a reason to be proud.
3. Making Amends
This is the perfect time to make amends to those you might have previously hurt at office parties. Prepare yourself ahead of time to apologize and make your actions right.
Part of your amends includes doing something different at this year’s party. Show them that you are truly sorry for your past behaviors and actions.
4. Helping Others
Maybe there is someone else at the office party who needs encouragement for their own battles. Be aware of anyone that seems to be exhibiting the same behaviors as you once did. Now would be a great time to help them if you can. Some of your experiences may help them to make a decision for recovery.
In addition, there could be people at the party who remember how you used to behave and see the changed person inside of you. This could cause them to approach you about struggles in their own lives and ask you for advice. Wouldn’t it feel great to be able to inspire others to make a positive change?
Be Sure To Safeguard Your Recovery
It is important that you walk in the path of the new life you’ve been given, but you also need to tread with caution. Holiday parties can lead to relapse triggers and present challenges in your recovery.
It is possible to stay sober as long as you plan ahead for the challenges you might face along the way.
Have Gratitude for Your Recovery
This is a big reason why people remain sober and in recovery; they are thankful. Make yourself a gratitude list and put down all the things you’re grateful for. Think about how good you feel physically, how your brain is no longer in a fog and how you have more money because you don’t blow it all on drugs.
Then, remember to write down all the ways your recovery has helped your loved ones. They no longer have to worry about you all night, there are no more trips to the hospital and they can trust you around their belongings.
Carry your list with you in your purse or wallet. When you are unsure if recovery is worth it – read this list and remind yourself how much better life is today.
Prioritize Your Sobriety
Making your recovery the most important thing in your life is priority number one. It is okay to avoid people, places and things that are a threat to your recovery.
While there are many benefits to attending that holiday party, you also need to use good judgment. If the party is going to be centered on the usage of drugs or alcohol, you might want to opt to skip out instead.
If instead, the party is about spending time together, having a good time and some people will be drinking; then, you should feel comfortable attending. You can pick and choose who you hang around with at the party and avoid situations that could put your sobriety at risk.
Create a Plan to Turn Down Drinks
It is inevitable that you might be offered a drink at the holiday party. Not everyone might know about your issues or you’ve chosen to keep them private. Here are some tips and strategies to help you deal with that moment.
- Have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand at all times. This will discourage someone from offering you another.
- Prepare what you are going to say. Something as simple as, “No thank you, but I would love a soda if you have it,” is sufficient.
- Plan an escape route if needed. If the party becomes too much to handle, what are you going to do? Be prepared to get on the phone with your sponsor and head out. To protect yourself, you should also drive yourself to the party so you aren’t stuck there if you need to leave.
Take Along a Sober Friend
Having a sober companion with you at the party will help to keep you accountable. They’ll also be turning down drinks, so you won’t feel so alone.
Take Care of Yourself
It is easier to decline alcohol and drugs when you are taking care of yourself. Be sure that you’ve had plenty of sleep and that you are eating properly. Get some physical exercise in and try to meditate before the party.
It would also help if you attend a meeting before and/or after the party to keep you grounded.
Carry a motivational quote or something to remind you of recovery. If you need a little boost, you can pull it out during the party to help keep you on track.
Plan Out Your Activities
Before heading to the party, have a list of activities you can participate in. This could include dancing, showing pictures of loved ones to co-workers or giving out a few gifts. By keeping yourself busy, you are less likely to be distracted and tempted by the alcohol.
Volunteer to Help
Make the holiday party a memorable experience by offering to help set up, serve or clean up during the event. You could even take part in hanging decorations or sending out the invitations.
Maybe you want to consider rallying the office together to do a toy drive for needy families. By focusing on how you can help others, you keep your mind off of your own troubles and problems. It allows you to have a sense of purpose during this joyous holiday season.
It is not only possible to end up in January still sober but to also have a good time doing it. Attending the holiday office party will require a little planning on your part, but you can do this.
Make your recovery priority number one and then avoid triggers. Take care of yourself and fill up the time serving others.
People will notice the change in you and many will be interested how you got so far. Share your story with those who are willing and maybe, you’ll help change someone else’s life as well.
Contact Clearbrook Today
If you or someone you know and love is currently struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, get the help you need today.
With 45 years of experience in treating chemical dependency, Clearbrook Treatment Centers can show you that there is another way. We have found a solution and we would love to share it with you.
Please contact our Admission Specialists today and get on the road to recovery.