With the Christmas holidays fast approaching you may be wondering how you can stay sober with parties, dinners, and social gatherings. Whether you are newly sober or 5 years into your recovery, it can be difficult to gear up for sobriety during the holidays.
Holidays are also a time when people reunite with family members or friends that they haven’t seen in a while. This can bring up charged emotions, and people may turn to alcohol to cope with feelings such as: stress, anxiety, anger, loneliness, and depression.
If you know that you are going to be around family members, friends, or colleagues that will trigger you to drink, plan ahead. Having a plan can help you feel confident in your choice not to indulge.
Find someone who you can turn to if you experience cravings to drink. This person may be a therapist, friend, or family member. It can also be a sponsor or someone who has agreed to hold you accountable.
You can let this person know that you are going to a gathering or party where there are likely to be triggers. When you experience an urge or craving you can step outside and call this person.
A sober buddy can help remind you that in the morning you will feel a lot better if you stay away from alcohol. Pack seltzers or sodas so that you have something in your hand. This can help prevent someone from approaching you and offering you a drink.
There may be a community in your neighborhood that is celebrating without alcohol. You can check out different groups on meetup.com or you can search for sober meet up groups. You can also increase your attendance to groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Members will often organize sober holiday events and it can be helpful to surround yourself with others in recovery.
Remember, there are so many others out there who are staying sober this holiday season. No matter what stage of recovery you are in, it is important to plan ahead so that you feel confident in resisting alcohol. The holidays do not last forever, and soon you will resume your “normal” life. Remind yourself that it feels good to be sober.