Anyone who’s ever struggled with alcoholism knows all too well that the holidays are the most challenging times for staying sober. Difficult memories and emotions are often triggered and friends and co-workers are popping champagne bottles in festive celebration. It can feel as if the whole world is trying to entice you to relapse. After all, what’s the harm in having just one drink? Everyone else is celebrating, so why shouldn’t you join in, right? Wrong!
If you’re a recovering alcoholic, then the following tips and tricks will help you get through the season without any slips or regrets:
- Surround yourself with supportive loved ones. Even if those closest to you don’t understand the challenges of recovering from alcoholism, they’ll most likely want to be there for you and cheer you on. If you doubt yourself or feel like you might give in, reach out. Sometimes all it takes is a few words of encouragement or just knowing that they’re there for you to get over the hurdle and feel empowered again. And if you’re doing well in your recovery and kicking temptation to the curb, share your victory with them and let them celebrate it with you.
- Have 2 or 3 polite, brief responses ready to use. Don’t feel obligated to tell anyone that you’re recovering from alcoholism. That’s personal and private. It’s okay to simply say, “No thank you, I’m good”. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you choose not to drink.
- Going to a party? Keep a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand. One of the best ways to avoid unwanted drink offers (and to avoid feelings of deprivation – at least to some degree) at holiday social gatherings is to keep a non-alcoholic beverage in your hand. Whether it’s sparkling water, soda, or apple cider, others won’t be inclined to push drinks on you constantly; you’ll have something delicious to sip on as well.
- Go to a meeting. If you’ve found 12-step groups or similar meetings to be beneficial, be sure to make time to go to as many as needed during the holidays. Not only will you benefit from the support of other group members, you’ll also feel comforted by the fact that you’re not alone – that others are also struggling with very similar issues, urges, and emotions. If you have a sponsor, stay in close with him or her as needed via phone, text, or email.
- Remember to slow down. Take some quiet time each day and work on an attitude of gratitude. Plan relaxation and meditation into your day, even for a few minutes, no matter how busy you are. Self care is vital to staying mentally and physically healthy.
If you or a loved one is suffering with drug or alcohol addiction, R.O.A.D To A Better life can help. Please call 603.841.2307 to speak to our new patient consult team.