Beating Addiction During the Holiday Season of Indulgence
Another year is drawing to a close, and with that comes the holiday season. It’s a time filled with joy and festivities. It is normal if not even expected to overindulge in food, drinks, parties, and all things that are considered gluttonous.
Lots of people look forward to this time and put their diet and health regimens on the backburner until January 1. For people in recovery, such a thing can’t exist, and it isn’t as simple as letting the reins loose for a few weeks. Doing so could cost them their recovery and ultimately their life. Beating addiction is a year-round struggle that is well worth the effort and should not ever be compromised.
Beating Addiction When Everyone Around You is Drinking and Partying
Whether is it the first-holiday experience in recovery or the tenth, it is bound to be a trying time. It is up to you to take an honest look at how strongly you feel about your sobriety and where you think your threshold of temptation lies.
Remember that your recovery is your priority, and nothing is worth risking that. That includes friends and family who may bring you down either intentionally or not. If you don’t think you’ll be strong enough to turn down people who are saying things like “You deserve one drink! It’s the holidays”, it may be worth staying home. It’s not worth putting yourself into that kind of temptation with people who don’t understand addiction.
If You Attend the Party, Have a Plan
If you choose to go to a party where there may be drugs or alcohol, it is essential to have a plan in place to make sure you don’t give in. Bring your own non-alcoholic beverages. It’s advisable to bring your own vehicle so you can leave when you are ready to. Think about bringing a sober friend who can help you stick to your guns and make the right decisions. Small planning decisions can help make sure that you don’t slip up with your sobriety and end up throwing out everything you worked so hard for.
Another thing to think about is what you will tell people when they ask you why you aren’t drinking or otherwise indulging. To avoid making an awkward moment worse, know what you are comfortable with and what you are going to say. Remember, there is nothing to be ashamed about by saying you don’t drink. It’s a personal decision and not one that should be easily swayed by others. If another person gives you an issue for not drinking, they most likely have a problem themselves otherwise, it would not be a big deal. Be proud of how far you have come and all you have achieved.
Think About Alternative Sober Activities for the Holidays
Beating addiction is about making adjustments for your new lifestyle, and sometimes that may mean you need to skip the party. If you think even for a moment that you may be tempted, listen to your intuition and find something else to do for the holidays.
Wondering what there is to do, especially with Christmas just a few days away? There’s plenty, you just need to be a little creative and think outside the box. Here are some ideas from people who have plenty of sober time behind them.
- This one may seem obvious, but hit a meeting, or two, or three. Invite your AA-friends to join you and make a night of it.
- Watch a movie. This is an old-standing Christmas tradition for many that will keep you distracted from booze and drugs.
- Have a potluck dinner with some sober friends! You’ll have each other for support and be surrounded by good food.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter or at an animal shelter. Giving back will make you feel a sense of purpose and gratitude for what you do have in life.
- Reach out to a local rehab and see if they need a speaker for the bigger holiday nights. Speakers will be hard to come by for them, and again you’ll get to share your story with others and remember how far you have come since sitting in their seat.
Beating Addiction Has a Lot To Do With Your Attitude
To beat addiction, you have to want to first and foremost. You need to make it your goal and stick to it with relentless passion and drive. It has to come before everything, and everything else needs to take shape around it.
The holidays are no exception. Be aware of your own boundaries and keep them firm. Don’t let people talk you into something you aren’t comfortable with.
Above all, remember to be grateful for this time of year and to be spending it sober instead of a slave to your drug of choice. No one could ask for a better gift!