Thanksgiving represents the start of the holiday season and if you are in recovery, be it a recent change or a longer term commitment to sobriety, you may be dreading it. Pleasures to some are temptations to be avoided by others. The simple change in routine can be unsettling if you have been focusing on your recovery in a structured way; you may be afraid that family gatherings or friendly get-togethers could trigger relapse due to their stressful, emotional nature, or you may worry about the temptations of being around people and situations you associate with alcohol or drug taking. There are steps you can take to make it easier for yourself to participate in the holidays.
Tips on Staying Sober during the Holidays:
– Plan ahead; make sure you have your own means of getting to and from an event so that you don’t have to stay longer than you feel comfortable.
– If possible, remind your family and companions that you wish to remain drug and alcohol free and bring your own alcohol free drink along to an occasion. Some sparkling water, fruit juice or ginger ale can be raised in toast so you can still participate in the celebrations without compromising your sobriety. Keep your own drink topped up to avoid the chance of an accidental alcoholic top up.
– Play an active role in the preparations to keep yourself occupied. Giving something to the occasion will help you feel more included.
– Remember everything you have learned so far in your recovery process and use the holiday season as an opportunity to put in into practice.
– If you are away from your addiction recovery support group, schedule a phone chat with someone else in recovery or find a group meeting to attend in the area if you have traveled from your home setting.
– Try and pre-empt potential triggers and have a plan in place. If you know a certain relative pushes your buttons, avoid them. If you know someone is likely to try and tempt you to have a drink or take drugs, avoid them or prepare what you will say to them so that if temptation comes your way you’re prepared to decline.
– Feel empowered to turn down an invitation if you know it will place too much strain on your resolve.
– Treat yourself to something nice- a particular luxury food, trip to the movies, pampering of some sort. Do something to acknowledge the ethos of thanksgiving and how far you have come in your recovery.
– You may have found family occasions tough in the past because of your addictive behavior; if this is your first sober thanksgiving it is likely to be a totally different affair. Enjoy the company of family and friends in your new sober state. It may be the ideal time for you to feel proud of the change you have made and the steps you have taken to improve your life.
– If you should lapse, do not keep it secret, discuss it with our support group and learn from the experience. Lapses happen – but it’s how you deal with them that determines if they have to be a full detour from sobriety or just a misstep.
Get Help for Drug and Alcohol Addiction Today in Orange County
At CASA Recovery in San Juan Capistrano, CA in Orange County, we offer recovery programs for alcohol and drug addiction. We can help you quit your habit and arm you with tools and techniques to avoid relapse in a caring homely environment. We use a variety of tried and tested therapies to help you achieve and maintain sobriety. Call us today for a consultation. You will thank yourself for it!