Holiday celebrations oftentimes include indulging in treats and special recipes that only come around once a year. They often also include activities with alcoholic beverages and/or access to drugs. If you’re in recovery, how can you stay sober when the opportunity to fall off the wagon presents itself everywhere you turn?
Here are 5 ways to maintain sobriety in tempting times. (These also work for non-holiday periods.)
- Don’t Feel Sorry for Yourself: Avoid questioning and brooding about why you have a problem while others don’t. It doesn’t matter why; it matters that it’s true. Instead of looking at what you’re not able to do, focus on what you can do by pursuing positive personal goals (reading, going to school, practicing your faith).
- Help Others: Inquire at your AA/NA gatherings about opportunities to do something special for your fellow-recovering men and women. Perhaps organize a special celebration or give yourself as a “gift” as a sponsor to someone else. Volunteer at a food kitchen to serve the holiday meal. Visit the ill in the hospital or nursing home. Knowing you make a difference in another’s life in a good way is a wonderful kind of high.
- Plan Your Own Party: Organize a gathering of friends and/or family who are clean, and host them at your place or take them out on the town. If finances don’t allow that, then invite one or two sober friends to enjoy a cup of coffee with you.
- Choose Wisely: Avoid going to functions where you know alcohol/drugs will be available. You’re already so far into your recovery. Don’t tempt yourself unnecessarily. You know there will be enough temptation out there without willingly walking into it. If you MUST go, take a non-using companion with you.
- Be prepared: Take the list of recovery support phone numbers with you so you can call someone immediately if you get a weak moment.
The motto of One Day at a Time is true, and eventually, one of those days will be a holiday. Temptation can increase at these times if you let it, but you can keep yourself in hand if you recognize it and proactively plan something else ahead of time. And as always, there are support people you can rely on for help. Contact Tracy Crain.