One of the most stressful, and tempting, times in early sobriety are the holidays. Even people with long-term sobriety can attest to this. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve on the horizon, following some simple Sober Holiday guidelines can turn the stress into happiness and a joyful holiday season.
Meetings, Support Group, Sponsor | As people in recovery, we should always be utilizing AA/NA fellowships, our sober friends, and our sponsor on a daily basis. During the holiday season we need to be vigilant. Using these three tools is the best way of getting through this time while remaining sober and happy. Many people in recovery have bad memories from past years. Many holidays have been ruined by ours or someone else’s drinking or drug use. In turn, our minds conjure up these bad memories and it effects our mood. This is where the fellowship and a program of recovery come in and can help change our thinking and our behavior. Being sober now it is time to start creating new memories. The past is over. There is no comparison to a happy, sober Thanksgiving or Christmas spent enjoying the company of family and friends.
Going To Parties | Office parties and family parties go hand in hand with the holidays. It also seems like anything that ends in “party” involves alcohol. For someone in recovery these events can be like walking into the lion’s den. Here are some tips that have been useful in the past:
- Have your own way home. You should drive yourself. If temptation or uncomfortable feelings come up it allows you to leave without relying on anyone else.
- Always keep your drink in your hand. There have been many times in the past when someone had a drink, put it down, and picked up the wrong cup or glass and it contained alcohol. If you have to, bring your own drink.
- Take someone who is in recovery with you. Recovery works because we do together what we could never do alone.
The rule of thumb is to always be on guard. Be extra vigilant during the holidays. If you’re struggling with the holidays coming up, Clearbrook is here to help you make a plan. We got sober to enjoy life, and here at Clearbrook you can always rely on us as a shoulder to lean on.