How to Deal if Youre Staying Sober During the Holidays

Remember that you don’t have to hit up every party. If the person you tell gives a reaction that isn’t understanding, “that’s probably not a person that you want to rely on,” says Dr. Feinblatt. She holds specializations in adults, seniors, and women over 50. If you already know that you are walking into a room with more triggers than the O.K. Here are a few of Mayer’s tips for celebrating sober. Mental health care is essential for providing comprehensive and ho…

  • The holidays are not a time to hold on to resentment.
  • People who are in recovery from alcohol addiction may be attempting to keep sober holidays for the first time.
  • Even if you’re not ready to go cold turkey on alcohol consumption—which is totally fine!
  • Al-Anon, for instance, offers meetings every hour on the hour over the phone on major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • These are suggestions each of us need to keep in mind because they really work.

You can find her sparkly journey on Instagram at @sobertopia. Remember, the disease of addiction is as powerful the day after a holiday as it is the day of and the day before. As we learn during addiction rehab and in the meeting rooms, recovery is a one-day-at-a-time endeavor, no matter the season. When you do find someone who supports you, lean on them.

Remember that it’s okay to say no to an event or gathering.

If everyone is gathering for the holiday, including your brother who drinks like a fish, plan on an overlap of just a day or two. If he arrives on Christmas Day and stays a week, you can arrive a couple of days before Christmas, help your hosts prepare, enjoy a quiet Christmas Eve, and leave the next day. That certainly extends to celebratory events, too. Just because something is a party doesn’t make it abnormal for someone to abstain from alcohol—in the same way that, again, it isn’t strange to abstain on any given day.

  • For those that have been in recovery from substance use disorder for a while, some of the greatest joy and inner freedom has come to you from staying clean and sober.
  • Every day that you can mark off your calendar as another sober success day is worth celebrating.
  • Unless you’re going on a specific sober trip (it’s a thing! See my last tip!), it’s likely that you’ll be the only non-drinker in the group.
  • You may run into old friends who are back in town, old friends from your using days, who will remind you of substance use.
  • Try to be prepared for whatever may come, even if that means your holiday bird burns in the oven or you have trouble putting down the money needed to fulfill your kids’ wish lists.

I’m the designated driver, the person who welds sharp knives with impunity, even the one who produces a yam casserole with perfectly golden marshmallows atop. I do not serve broken glass and enjoy every minute of every sober holiday event. My family has a legend we talk about from my non-sober holidays past.

Figure out what to do with your hands.

And, if you’ve built your world around alcohol, odds are your relationships and memories are tethered to the bottle. You may not even remember past Decembers without memories swirling in snow and liquor. The holiday season can be brutal—especially if you’re taking a break from booze or quitting for good. That’s because holiday parties and other festivities are often dripping in alcohol. Back in the day when I used, I would find myself on week-long binges between Christmas and New Year’s, simply because I had too much time on my hands.

Lastly, you need to talk to your loved ones about your sober holidays to make sure that they understand what you are experiencing. This step can be a very hard one if they don’t know you’re having a substance abuse problem. However, it is critical to be as honest with them as possible. Let them know that you are trying to stay away from substances this year and that you need their support. The holidays can be exhilarating, offering an opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a long time.

Support for Me and My Family

If something comes up that makes you uncomfortable or proves to be too much of a temptation, that’s also a cue to head for the door. Leave knowing you were able to enjoy yourself and celebrate the holidays with friends – all while staying sober. Before you even put up the Christmas tree or string the lights, try to let go. And if something is standing in the way of your path to staying sober, get rid of it. Don’t let negative thoughts live in your head in the meantime. Clear your mind of the trouble and get ready, because you’re about to enjoy the holidays.

sober holidays

Have a plan of what to say if someone does offer you an alcoholic drink, and don’t be afraid to be assertive. Don’t worry about hurting other people’s feelings. No matter your faith, many sober holidays religious groups offer a variety of family-friendly events to participate in during the holiday season. It’s easy to drive through a light display or visit a live Nativity scene.

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