The Holiday Season is a beautiful and relaxing time of year. You meet your friends and family, enjoy the time with them, laugh, and just have fun. The good time can quickly turn into something very different though. We often feel safe and very comfortable with family, so what’s the harm in joining in on celebration with ‘only one’ glass of wine – just like the old times.
But when battling addiction you cannot ever go back to the “old you”. The change you made to overcome drugs or alcohol is for a lifetime. So Christmas time is great, but you are an addict and can’t ever forget that. Rest assured there is a way to enjoy yourself, bu you have to put the addiction first. So, if you want to pass the holiday season without any ‘trouble’, here is how to stay sober while everybody around you might be going wild:
1. Plan and Prepare
Plan every day of the holiday. Prepare in advance the things you want to do. Think about what will happen if someone offers you a drink. What will you say? What will your answer be if the person insists? It is important to remember that staying sober is what matters most to you. Stop caring about other people’s feelings.
Whenever you start with “It won’t hurt me if I have one. I’ve been sober for a while”, stop immediately or even better, leave the place. You should understand that you need to be prepared for anything. Think about the activities you have planned. Consider adding many different fun activities that will fulfill your time and distract your thoughts.
Here is what we suggest you do to:
- Get A Soda – before anyone else does, keep your hands occupied with a drink. That will be your excuse in case someone offers you another one.
- Have an exit plan – before you attend a party, prepare an exit plan. In case the situation escalates, leave the party. Always think about arriving early and leaving early. The longer you stay, the higher the chances for you to be triggered.
- Keep yourself busy – don’t stand at the same place thinking the same thoughts. If you need a break, isolate yourself – take a walk outside.
- Don’t attend unplanned parties – you never know who you’ll run into. It will help if you avoid going into the unknown.
- Attend a meeting – whenever you feel the urge to do something wrong, attend a meeting. Talking to people that go through the same situation will be more than beneficial.
2. Talk to a Friend that Helps You Stay Sober
It’s great to have someone near you that doesn’t drink AT ALL. In case there isn’t one, always rely on a friend that supports and understands you. Talk to your friend when you are feeling emotional and ask your friend to remind you of the reasons you want to stay sober.
3. Avoid People who Drain You Emotionally
There is always that person or group of individuals that stress you out or make you fell insecure. Just avoid them. Or even better, confront them. You will feel so much better! Keep in mind that things like this can be common and you need to be prepared. Talk to your friend afterward. When in an emotional state, chances are higher you’ll go back to the addiction.
4. Eat, Drink, Have Fun, and Stay Sober
Get enough sleep, food, and beverages. It will keep your body and mind healthy. The fresher and happier you feel, the lower are the chances of bringing yourself into a stressful situation.
5. Write a Letter to Yourself
Early preparation will keep you ready for the things you can not expect. If this is the first holiday season you spend with your family after decided to stay sober, then you can write yourself a letter before the season starts.
Writing down things like, “This is going to be tempting but I promised to myself and my loved ones that I can do it” or “I am stronger than one drink. I don’t need it. I am at a better place now”. This will help you remember the important reasons you started this journey.
After you succeed during Christmas and New Years in staying sober, keep the letter for next year. But first, write down the things that crossed your mind or bothered you. Finally, analyze everything, write it down, and congratulate yourself.
6. Reward Yourself for Staying Sober
After the holiday is over, celebrate your achievement. Have a lunch with your friend to thank him/her for being supportive.
7. Stay Confident and Believe in Yourself
You know how real sobriety feels. You have control over your actions, words, and mind. Therefore, staying confident is the key to sobriety. Keep believing in yourself!