The holidays can sometimes be difficult for sobriety. A lot of events serve alcohol, and people can get wild. While it may look like fun, remind yourself that’s how everything started. And when the fun was gone, it was bad. Really bad.
Celebrate your recovery during the holidays. You are a miracle. Reflect on all the great things that have happened in your recovery.
Most of all, stay vigilant. Don’t let old thinking take over. Make a plan for keeping your sobriety through the holidays.
Check out these 10 Tips for Holiday Sobriety
- Planning – Make a schedule for each day of your holiday season. Spend your time with recovery friends and supportive family. This is especially important if you’re traveling back to a place where you used, and might be full of triggers.
- Support – Reach out to those recovery friends and supportive family to let them know you might need their help during the holidays. Get everyone’s contact information so you can communicate with them by phone, text, or email.
- Honesty – When attending holiday events, be very honest with yourself about why you’re going. If you are going to catch up with the old crowd, then you need to reconsider. The likelihood of relapse is much greater when you’re around the wrong people, places, and things.
- Meetings – There are support group meetings all over the world. Find the ones near you and during the times you need them. Meetings are perfect for being in a recovery-oriented environment. Use websites like aa.org, ca.org, and na.org to find meetings.
- 10 People – Make a list of ten names with contact information of people you can call in an emergency. Your sponsor, helpful relatives, recovery friends, and any others who support your recovery should be on this list. Put them on speed dial so you can make the call with one button.
- Buddy System – Bring a sober buddy with you to holiday events. Combining your recovery resources is a great way to help each other stay clean and sober. Keep track of each other so neither one of you feels alone. And you can entertain each other when it gets boring!
- Escape Plan – Drive yourself (and your buddy) to holiday events. This way you have an immediate escape, should you need it. If things get scary at a party you can always leave. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. Just quietly step out and get yourself to a safe place.
- H.A.L.T. – Avoid being hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Any of these can weaken our system and create an opportunity for relapse behavior to take place. Get something to eat, talk to a friend, go to a meeting, or go home and get some good sleep. Keep yourself at your best during the holidays.
- B.Y.O.B. – Bring your own beverage. Not everyone will be considerate of your recovery, so respect yourself and bring a non-alcoholic beverage to enjoy right along with everyone else. When someone asks if you need a drink, you can say you already have one.
- A Day at a Time – The holidays can sometimes drag us back to thoughts of our troubled past. Don’t get sucked in. Enjoy your recovery friends and supportive family. Live in the moment and celebrate your recovery.
You can always reach out to CeDAR's Alumni Coordinator, Meghan White at 720.281.1605. She's a great resource for hope, strength, and courage in recovery.