The holiday season is a time during which people gather to spend quality time with friends and loved ones. It’s also a season of parties, which often means alcohol. For someone recovering from alcohol addiction, it can feel like someone is offering you a drink everywhere you turn. Suddenly, what is supposed to be a joyful, relaxing time is more of a nightmare of stress and anxiety.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage the holiday season without slipping into negative behaviors. Here are four tips for navigating gatherings and meetings while maintaining your sobriety.
Don’t Be Afraid to Decline an Invitation
It’s okay to say no to a party or event if you know alcohol will feature prominently. In many cases, being surrounded by alcohol is a major trigger that causes people to take a drink, which can lead to two or more—eventually opening the door to a relapse. You have years to build up self-control. Don’t feel like you have to push yourself to attend cocktail parties, wine tastings, or New Year’s Eve celebrations when you are still fresh to recovery. Know your limits and don’t think twice about declining to attend an event that will push you past them.
Be Open About Your Past
This doesn’t work for everyone, as many people understandably prefer to keep their struggles with addiction private. However, if you are comfortable sharing your past challenges with others, simply telling them about your difficulties with alcohol can make things easier. You may be surprised how willing people are to support you as you continue on a positive path. In some cases, they may have even encountered similar difficulties and will understand exactly what you’re going through.
Have a Support Person Nearby
If you have a sponsor or support person in your life, ask them to attend a party or event with you. If this isn’t possible, you can plan in advance for them to be available over text or by phone. Sometimes, just knowing you have an understanding and supportive person to rely on can ease the burden of saying no to alcohol. A quick pep talk over email or text can help you stay focused on sobriety when you’re confronted with an opportunity to have a drink.
Find Other Ways to Celebrate
You don’t necessarily need to attend a party to have a good holiday season. There are many holiday-related activities that don’t involve alcohol. For example, you could volunteer your time at a charity event, or plan a weekend getaway with someone you care about. Being sober means getting opportunities to truly enjoy doing things you love and may have missed out on while you struggled with alcohol addiction.
How Do You Plan to Spend the Holidays?
Do you have a good idea for a fun way to have a sober holiday season? Share your plans with us! You can find us on Facebook or tweet us @SummitBH.
To reach our facility for detox:
Serenity At Summit
1000 Galloping Hill Road
Union, NJ 07083
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