The holidays can be stressful, especially for people in recovery.
When holiday season approaches and parties and events are added to the schedule, it’s good to have a backup plan. We offer the following five tips for staying sober during the holidays.
The first tip: Take a sober friend or companion with you. This can be a sponsor or someone else from the AA community, or it can be a friend who understands the importance of your recovery. When you have the added support of someone in your corner who understands the nature of your disease, you are better equipped to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Make sure you have your own vehicle or a way to leave when you need to.
The second tip: choose your parties carefully. According to Alcoholics Anonymous literature, it’s important to limit parties to those you have a legitimate reason to attend. If you don’t have to be there, feel uncomfortable about going, or think that your sobriety might be at risk, then don’t go. No party is more important that your recovery.
A third tip: have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand. Fill your glass with carbonated water, juice, or another type of liquid. This will keep people from offering to get you a drink. Most people will not be concerned with what you have or don’t have in your glass.
The fourth tip: prepare yourself mentally and spiritually before you go. Getting in the right frame of mind is very important. Make sure you talk to your sponsor, counselor, or a trusted person who understands recovery. Sobriety requires working a program of spiritual action, and if you are not keeping spiritually fit, a party might lead to relapse.
The final tip: offer to be the designated driver for others. This is a great way to help ensure your friends and coworkers get home safely and is an admirable reason for not drinking.
It’s important to remember that most people will not be overly concerned with whether you are drinking or not. If you are able to, bring your own form of transportation and remember that you can always leave if you start to feel uncomfortable. You have begun this incredible journey into a new life of sober living, and no party in the world is worth jeopardizing that.