During the holidays, there is usually a lot of commotion and some stress, even for the most laid-back people. When you’re newly sober, however, some of the pressure can feel amplifies amplified. What could be a trigger for you? What’s the most stressful? Should you go to the work party? What about Aunt Edna’s?
Making decisions about holiday gatherings should be done with the help of your sponsor or your therapist.
Together, you can draw up a recovery plan for any triggering scenarios.
Planning for Sobriety During the Holidays
Here are a few ideas you can use when you’re planning your holidays:
- Speak to the host or hostess, if you’re close to them, and ask them to provide a nonalcoholic table away from the alcoholic beverages.
- Practice saying “no” when offered a drink. Ideally, you’ll stay away from the alcohol so it won’t happen often. You can say, “No thanks” or “No thanks, I quit drinking” or anything you feel comfortable telling people.
- Have a buddy who can be available to text you throughout the party. Let them know how it is going and if you are struggling with anything.
- Have a plan to avoid anyone in your family who is going to push your buttons. If there are people you own amends to, let them know you plan on talking to them about it at the right time. Let them know that during the party is not the right time.
- Don’t get drinks for other people or hold them.
- Have an exit plan in case things go south. That means that you’ll probably need to order an Uber or sneak out to your car. You can text the host an apology on the way to your 12-step meeting.
- Go to a 12-step meeting after gatherings that stress you out. If the holidays bother you, go to as many 12-step meetings as you can.
- Skip parties that make you uncomfortable. If somebody you are close to invited you, offer up an alternative plan such as going to the movies or ice skating.
- Plan what you’re going to say if somebody “outs” you to people. Unfortunately, everyone is human. BThey may brag about your recovery to somebody you didn’t want to know. Plan on having something to say about it, and try to be forgiving if it happens.
- Make alternative plans if you don’t want to go to family celebrations. Reach out to your recovery circle and let them know what’s going on.
Parties around the holidays, especially Christmas and New Years, can seem daunting if you’re new to recovery. It’s okay to take care of yourself and do what you need to do to stay clean. Plan to lean on others if you’re in pain this holiday season, and let your new friends lift you up. Don’t stick around people who are cynical and angry.
Sober Housing is Important
Sober housing is a great way to build a new family and spend time around people with similar goals. Some people choose sober housing because they’re not sure what they want to do after treatment or want some additional time with sober allies.
Are you interested in finding sober housing? Search our directory here.