Skip to main content

Sober Through the Holidays

By November 15, 2022News

It’s the holiday season. Normally this is a time of celebration, family, and gratitude. And while you might enjoy these things in this season, you are also constantly being reminded of what you must avoid.
Your aunt is having a glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner, your cousin just got a mini liquor bottle in his Christmas stocking, maybe your sibling got a T-shirt with their favorite beer on it. Everyone is enjoying these things, but they just serve as a harsh reminder to you. And while you’re not mad at your family for drinking in front of you, you can’t help but feel a sting.
Because alcohol has caused hurt for you. It affected your life in a way you didn’t think it would. And you are learning to overcome the disease of addiction, and are on the road to recovery, but being surrounded by it with your family tends to cloud your mind.
But there are ways to combat this way of thinking! Below are some tips to help you stay sober from alcohol as well as drugs throughout the stressful holiday season:
1.     Communicate- Be open with your friends and family about what you’re going through and might be feeling. The more they understand it, the better they can support you.
2.     Keep your routine- We are creatures of habit. And keeping that routine helps you stay focused on the path ahead, and less tempted to veer off it. Be vigilant this holiday season in doing your everyday activities to avoid distraction. This will lessen the desire to join in when you see people around you drinking or using.
3.     Avoid triggering events- Sometimes, it’s harder than it sounds. But if you know a family get together will have lots of alcohol or drugs, stay home for the night. Or you can leave the event early before it gets too rowdy. Another option would be to plan a different event to go to instead. For example, instead of going to the family get together, maybe go to an AA/NA holiday party or a church get together. By stopping the action of hanging out with your family, you can start the action of going to these other events. Take care of yourself first!
4.     Have an escape strategy- Tying into number 3, make sure you have the ability to leave if/when you get uncomfortable. Drive yourself to the get together so you can leave on your own terms and maybe have a reason to leave in case your family asks why you’re heading out so early. “I have to work early in the morning”, “I have to feed my dog”, or “I’ve had a long day”, are all understandable reasons to leave.
5.     Spend time with your support network- It’s always best to make sure your sponsor, or a trusted loved one are with you or maybe just a phone call away. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it’s so helpful to just talk to someone else that can help clear your mind.
The holidays are a stressful time. It’s understandable when you have to carry the weight of addiction while being among family members who might not understand it.
But besides these tips, ShareHouse is also here to help you! We offer residential and outpatient care to help treat addiction. You can also visit our mental health clinic if that’s a better fit for you. We want you to have the happy and healthy holiday season that you deserve. Recovery is Possible!