December 20, 2013
The holiday season is upon us, and it brings with it plenty of time for family and festivities. During this time of the year, celebrations dominate the social calendar and are the plenty of opportunities to come together with family and friends. Holiday parties, family get-togethers, and other social events can be filled with fun and excitement, but they can also be a time of temptation for those in recovery. The thought of slipping into relapse after working so hard to achieve sobriety may discourage those who are in recovery from taking part and enjoying the holiday.
While the holiday season can be filled with triggers and urges to use drugs and alcohol, it is possible to party sober during the holidays. With some thought and careful planning, you can fully participate in social events and feel the love that is abundant during this time of the year. The following basic tips will help you keep your spirits high while keeping temptations at bay.
Essential Tips To Partying Sober During the Holiday Season
Choose Celebrations That Are Low Risk
From Thanksgiving through to New Year’s, Your inbox and mailbox get flooded with invites to holiday parties and family gatherings. While you want to spread your wings and be a social butterfly, you definitely have to be careful if you are in recovery. There may be certain social situations where the environment may be too much for you to handle. You will need to decide ahead of time which celebrations to attend, and those events need to be low-risk social situations. If you are early in your recovery, it may be in your best interest to turn down those holiday invitations and focus on your recovery.
Lean on Your Support Network
The holiday season in of itself can create a significant amount of stress, and that stress can be multiplied when you are trying to work your recovery. If you decide on attending a holiday function, bring a supportive friend or someone from your 12-step group that has significant clean time. If you are actively working with a sponsor, have an agreement with him or her that you will call them before and after the function. Have your cell phone programmed with the phone numbers of those who are in your support network? It is also highly advisable that you increase the amount of 12-step meetings before and after an event in order to get the extra support and encouragement you need.
Bring Your Own Beverage
A great way to party sober during the holiday season is by bringing along your own non-alcoholic drink. Sparkling grape juice and flavored seltzer water are popular choices, and you can also create your own non-alcoholic cocktail. There are countless websites and books that feature non-alcoholic cocktails and are easy to make, and you can bring those creations along to share with others. If the function that you are attending has a bar, you may want to ask the bartender if they make any non-alcoholic cocktails. No matter if you bring your own or if they are offered at the party, don’t allow anyone to get a drink for you–get your own drink.
During your time in drug treatment, you became familiar with the acronym H.A.L.T which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. A great tip to keep in mind when keeping sober during the holidays is not to attend any holiday function while feeling any of these states of being. If you are going to attend a social function, you must be physically and emotionally strong. If you are at a holiday party and start feeling any of these, leave immediately.
Have An Exit Strategy
As we are well aware of, addiction is a cunning, baffling and powerful disease. No matter how strong your recovery may be, there will be moments where you may have a memory that triggers the craving and urge to use drugs and alcohol. If you experience these trigger moments at a holiday party, it can spell disaster for your sobriety. Always have an exit strategy in place before you attend a holiday function. As stated earlier, bring a supportive family member or friend that is sober. It is also a good idea to bring your own transportation or have cab fare with you so you can leave right away if you are feeling uncomfortable.
Put Your Recovery First
Perhaps the biggest tip to partying sober during the holidays is to always put your recovery first. You have worked hard to address your addiction issues, and your number one goal is to stay clean and sober no matter what the situation. It doesn’t matter what others may think or believe, it is you who is affected by your decisions and actions. While it may be tough to deal with friends to try to tempt or shame you into doing anything that is against your better judgment, you need to stay the course and stay strong. For those that like to celebrate, they want everyone celebrating with them. It is tempting to join in the fun and you may think that “having just one drink” will be alright because it is the holiday season, having that one drink can put you back to square one in your recovery. You must remember that sobriety is more important than accommodating the requests of an inebriated friend.
At Ocean Breeze Recovery, Your Sobriety is Our Top Priority
No matter what time of the year it may be, drug and alcohol addiction has significant and often devastating effects on those struggling with substance abuse and the ones they love. If you are looking to break free from addiction, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center provides the treatment programs, tools and support you need to make recovery a reality. We offer all clients a full continuum of care, experienced and compassionate staff and a unique and effective holistic-based treatment approach that will help you heal in mind, body and spirit. Call Ocean Breeze toll-free today!