Everyone knows the holidays can be stressful, especially for those in recovery. Here are a few tips for protecting your sobriety at various holiday parties and events.
First, ask yourself if this event is somewhere you want to be. Is attendance mandatory? If not, and if you know you won’t enjoy it or feel comfortable there, don’t go. It’s that simple. If you do have to attend, ask a sober buddy to go with you. Your sponsor or a friend in your recovery group may be happy to tag along.
If no one is available to attend, have someone you can call when you’re feeling vulnerable. Leave the party, at least temporarily, to make this phone call. Better yet, ask the person to call you at specific times throughout the event. Knowing you’ll be accountable to someone can help keep you focused on sobriety.
Second, don’t worry too much about people noticing that you’re not drinking alcohol. Most people don’t notice nor do they care. To prevent the more inquisitive folks from asking about your drink, have a nonalcoholic drink in hand. If they ask why you’re not drinking, you can simply say that alcohol doesn’t agree with you or that you want to stay sober to help others get home safely.
And finally, perhaps the best way to ensure that the party will be one you enjoy and where alcohol will not be present is to host your own. Invite sober friends or any friends who are willing to socialize without alcohol. Serve festive nonalcoholic drinks, play games, go caroling, or make your own decorations. Show your loved ones how much fun they can have without alcohol.
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