The holiday season can be challenging for those who are recovering from addictions. There seems to be an endless stream of holiday parties to attend and then there’s the shopping to tackle, as well. The holidays also bring up past memories that probably include days of indulgence, so it can be difficult navigating through the season. With so many potential stressors, it might seem that having a safe holiday is next to impossible, but at The Healing Way, we know that with a few quick tips, you can stay sober over the holidays and still have a wonderful time.
At The Healing Way, we recommend choosing your holiday parties wisely. It’s not realistic to think that you can simply avoid every party that you receive an invitation for. However, you can choose those parties and gatherings that are the most important to you. If you can choose parties where there will not be as much alcohol flowing, then these are probably the best to attend. Yet if you do end up at an event where people are drinking or using drugs, then you will probably want to consider leaving, or at least not staying as long as the other people.
It’s always a good die to be prepared when you plan on attending holiday events. You can have a line ready to recite when it’s time to turn down a drink. You can also ask a friend to come with you who does not have a history of addiction. This person can help you remain strong in those situations where you might feel tempted to drink or use drugs again. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you choose not to drink or use drugs.
At The Healing Way, we like to have clients remind themselves why the entered recovery. One suggestion is to write down your reason and carry it with you when you attend gatherings. An example might be: “I entered recovery because I wanted to be healthy and happy.” When you feel the temptation to drink or use drugs, simply read the statement over to yourself. Affirmations like these can help you make a clear and conscious effort to remain on the right path, even when the going gets tough. Some people even write letters to their future selves, such as one that might be entitled: “How I got through the holidays sober.” You can make a list of the ways that you will make this time enjoyable and festive while remaining sober, too.