Staring down your first holiday season sober can be daunting. Your past choices may be a source of embarrassment for you, and you could be dreading seeing family and friends that you may have wronged during your battle with addiction. Even if you have a great relationship with your family in recovery, it can be extremely nerve-wracking to join the family holiday gatherings. The good news is that you’re not alone in this, and there are some ways you can start to prepare now to set yourself up for a successful, enjoyable holiday season with family and friends.
Unfortunately, that uncomfortable feeling you may have probably isn’t going to fade much, especially as you get ready to walk into the house the family is gathering at. If your family traditionally drinks a lot together during the holidays, this can be especially stressful, because even for people recovering from a drug addiction, an alcoholic beverage can be a slippery slope into relapse. It may feel strange if you’re the only one not drinking, but remind yourself that your sobriety is in your hands and it’s your decision. If your family members can’t simply enjoy being with you without you drinking as well, then they may be part of the problems from the past. Be prepared to tell people who may not have been aware of your addiction why you aren’t drinking, if they ask. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, but if you’re comfortable, the truth is usually the best route to go. If you feel extremely uncomfortable, simply state that you’re the designated driver.
The nerves you feel may give you a strong urge or temptation to drink, even just a little, but work to choose your sobriety over liquid courage. Make sure you have a sponsor or someone that you can call if the craving intensifies or you crave drugs, it will help you avoid situations you’ll later regret.
It may not feel like it now, but sobriety will get easier. It won’t always consist of being on edge at holiday parties and gatherings. Something that makes the holidays more enjoyable than alcohol is being fully aware and present at these things; you’ll miss fewer memories and you’ll remember why you love the holidays and the people around you.
Enjoying the holidays with a sober mind is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. The Springboard Center can help you achieve sobriety through one of their residential or outpatient treatment programs, and it’s the best thing you can do for your future. If you’re struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, don’t delay. Make the call and start working towards your sober life today: 432-620-0255.