All I Want for Christmas is Sobriety: How To Stay Sober Throughout the Holidays
It’s getting to be that time of year again — when addicts struggle the most to stay sober. The holiday season is especially hard for those new in recovery. Maybe it’s all the eggnog that’s flowing. Maybe it’s being home for the first time since they got sober. For many, it’s simply the depression of being alone during a time that is supposed to be spent laughing and cheering with their family.
There is nothing shameful about struggling to stay sober during the holidays. Most — if not all — recovering addicts have been there. This is how we’ve been able to make it through without taking a drink or a drug.
Go to Meetings
First and foremost, it’s much easier to stay sober at a meeting than when you are alone. Therefore, whether you are back home or at your halfway house, making meetings should be a top priority. Be sure to check your local AA or NA directories for a list of meetings. In many locations, there are actually meeting marathons during the days when it’s hardest (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s). There’s no excuse for not making a meeting — they are literally going on all day.
Be Honest With Family & Friends
For many recovering addicts, Thanksgiving and/or Christmas are the first times they see friends and family after they get sober. While they know you just went through a drug rehab program, they might not fully understand what you are going through. If they do anything that makes you uncomfortable (such as get too drunk or serve liquor around you), don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel. You don’t have to apologize for being sober. This is life and death for you — so don’t take any chances.
Use The Phone
It’s also important to use the phone to talk to people if you or they are out of town. Whether you’re away or you’re home while your sponsor is out of town, there’s no reason to cut off all contact. Any time you feel anxious, depressed or tempted, pick up the phone and talk to someone about it. They will talk you through whatever you are going through and remind you that, no matter what, you don’t have to go through it alone.
One Day at a Time
Finally, when all else fails, you can still stay sober one day at a time. All you have to do is make it through the next 24 hours. No matter how depressed or alone or ashamed you feel, just worry about today. Tomorrow you can worry about tomorrow. Staying sober is that simple when you take things day by day. Each day that goes by is another day you don’t drink or drug, another day you become stronger, healthier and happier.