Stay Sober During Holidays
The holiday season typically starts buzzing around the first of November. People put their costumes away and start writing shopping lists and planning for the upcoming family gets together. A family entrapped by alcohol and drug addiction is forced to write a different story. Family gatherings are overshadowed by the many consequences of addiction, addicts continue their spiral of abuse, and individuals in recovery flirt with relapse.
But, why? The holiday season is saturated with stress from the season’s high expectations. The stress can hinder an individual’s judgment or spark a battle with depression—a common factor in alcohol and drug addiction.
Don’t let alcohol and drug addiction strip away the magic of the holidays. Give the gift of recovery this holiday season
What can push you over the edge? While it might be presumptuous of us to say the holiday season is the biggest of all “nightcaps” we’re not completely off base. The holiday season has many qualities that often lead to escalating addictions, such as: o Family pressures o Financial stress o Parties that include alcohol and drugs o Colder or unpleasant weather like rain, snow, wind, etc. o Feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness
Coping with Addiction during the Holidays
The most important thing to keep in mind for those in recovery is to not let the holiday season be an excuse to relapse. Here are a few tips to help you in the process:
o Stay Alert – This means getting plenty of sleep, eating right (with occasional holiday treats!), and remembering to take a breath when things get too stressful.
o Say No to Pressure – This may involve turning down a few holiday party invitations if you know they’ll be saturated with drugs and alcohol. Think of all the hard work you have put into achieving recovery. Better yet, think of how much happier and healthier you are without addiction controlling your life. There’s no sense in threatening those good feelings for one party.
o Make Your Own Drinks – Why should it matter what’s in your glass if you are there and everyone is enjoying their time together? While that seems like a silly question, you’d be surprised to find the type of pressure at get-togethers to fill your glass with what everyone else is drinking. Don’t let that be the case! Make your own drinks and don’t bother with what anyone else thinks. Try making drinks that look just as “fun” by using light colored sodas and fresh fruit, or ring in the New Year with apple cider and a handful of confetti. If you’re attending someone else’s party, prepare your host ahead of time to fill your glass with cranberry juice instead of wine, or sparkling cider or ginger ale instead of champagne.
o Call Your Sponsor – If you feel like you might crack under all the holiday pressure, it’s never a bad time to call for support. Odds are, your sponsor has gone through many holiday seasons and dealt with many similar pressures. Having someone to talk to that truly understands your situation will help get you back on track.