First of all, it’s the festive season, which increases the likelihood that more people may drink alcohol and possibly use drugs. That’s because more people seem to let free and have a good time once there are more holidays. Above all, it is especially the time to exercise caution and vigilance. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The path to sobriety frequently includes thinking critically about the broader ideology of consumption. There is a growing realization that the beast of marketing has a significant impact on what is believed you need to buy in order to feel like you belong, are good enough for society, your friends, and your family, and that you are what they need. This holiday season, put some brakes on that beast. Stop giving presents and give the gift of activities instead. Consider going to the movies, going on a weekend hike, or attending an art exhibit or bonsai display workshop. There are many enjoyable activities you can do in over the holiday season that are both budget-friendly and incredibly priceless in terms of creating lasting memories.
Take a lot of pictures and record them on video so you may look back on them during gloomy times. Working to create your own sober-tinted Christmas memories might result in memorable experiences and serve as a reminder that you don’t need alcohol to enjoy the season’s festivities.
Accidents are more likely to happen over the holiday season because the roads are significantly busier. Because more people prefer to drink during this time of year, it makes this period of time worse for driving because accidents are even more frequent. In conclusion, avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking, or getting into a car with someone who has, to keep yourself and your friends safe this holiday season. In other words, if you drink and drive, one of two things could happen first, you might cause a fatal vehicle accident in which one or more people perish.
Second, you might get stopped by the police, which would entail spending the holiday season in jail and result in you having a criminal record. Whatever you do this holiday season, keep safety and awareness in mind. Avoid using drugs or alcohol altogether the risks are simply not worth it. Be in the company of reliable people who won’t pressurize or influence you towards risky or unsafe activity. When you need it, ask for assistance.
It seems harder to stay sober during the holidays with all the get-togethers and parties that take place. The holidays may serve as a painful flashback to times when using drugs and alcohol was the norm for many people in recovery. It is crucial that you maintain your sobriety during this time in order to avoid relapsing. You didn’t work so hard to maintain your sobriety to simply discard it over the holiday season, after all. Fortunately, there are some entertaining suggestions on how to remain sober over this season.
Stay Sober During the Holidays
Get out and Play!
Exercise is a fantastic method to clear your head and remove yourself from all the desires and temptations that may be present over the holidays. Moving about or exercising out can help ward off the dreaded holiday blues because it is an excellent mood stabilizer. Invite the family members outside to play a game of touch football or to compete in a horse race. Exercise is a fantastic method to spend time with loved ones while keeping your mind off of drugs and alcohol and staying clean. The future? It might even develop into a brand-new Christmas custom.
Stay Grateful and Accept
Finding ways to stay sober over the holidays is crucial because it is a high-risk period for relapse. This is mostly because a lot of people in recovery experience depression at this time of year. Depression is really harmful to your sobriety, whether it’s because of solitude or expectations that aren’t satisfied. If you don’t have the family support you want or if plans fail and loved ones let you down this Christmas season, it can be difficult to feel enthusiastic about the season. Remain grateful and accepting during the Christmas season to avoid or combat the holiday blues.
Even if Christmas may not have turned out the way you had hoped, your rehabilitation has been successful. Make a list of your blessings to serve as a reminder to yourself of everything that you have to be thankful for. This will help you focus on all you have rather than all you lack. Work on your meditation skills as well to keep your mind at ease. This makes it easier to accept the things we cannot control, such as a holiday season that doesn’t turn out as planned.
Make New Traditions
You will need to create new traditions if you typically link the festive with binge drinking and drug use in order to avoid reverting to your old routines this holiday season. Even while it could have been enjoyable to gather with loved ones and partake in a few drinks, this is no longer an option for you now that you are sober. Make sure your family is supportive of your decision to stop partaking in these raucous holiday pastimes first. Once everyone is on the same page, you can come up with new customs to adopt that will help you maintain your sobriety. Play a holiday gift exchange game, learn a new board game, or take the family out to the movies or the museum. You will have a brand-new supportive and sober activity to enjoy with your family and loved ones in addition to giving your family a new tradition to look forward to each year.
Help those in Need
Helping someone in need is a terrific way to take your mind off of your own problems. During this holiday season, there are those throughout the world who have it far worse than you do. Giving back to others might make you feel grateful this holiday season and proud of your progress in recovery. After all, the purpose of the holidays is to give, not to get. If you keep this in mind, the holidays will undoubtedly mean more to you than you had anticipated. Like the much cherished holiday classic figure Dr. Seuss,’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas pondered, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”
Let Family and Friends Know You’re In Recovery
Let your family and friends know in advance that you’re in recovery and may need or want help if you decide to go to a holiday gathering. If your recovery process is a private one, you don’t have to let everyone know. However, having a few close family members and/or friends there can help you stay accountable for your recovery goals and reduce any outside pressure while you’re there.
What are experts saying?
Alcohol is frequently a key component of the strategy for having fun and unwinding as the festive get near and we prepare for the celebrations. But according to addiction specialist Sheryl Rahme, who has been sober and in recovery for 23 years and has worked in the treatment business for almost as long, if you have a loved one in early recovery, you should think about giving up alcohol yourself. According to the addiction specialist, families simply don’t want to be told to abstain from drinking around loved ones who are still in the early stages of their recovery. Rahme, the founder, and director of Changes Addiction Rehab in Northcliff, Johannesburg, suggests that families of addicts in the early stages of recovery should keep their homes sober and host gatherings where alcohol is prohibited.
Rahme believes that this topic “is tricky in the family dynamic” and brings up sensitive questions. Often, family members will say that they are not the ones with a problem, so why should they change? With assertions that contend that after a hectic and challenging year, they deserve a drink around the holidays to unwind and reward themselves. I challenge family members who are unwilling to forgo alcohol, even temporarily: What’s your relationship with alcohol that you won’t do without it for a while?”
Another common belief among families is that because their loved one is a drug addict and doesn’t genuinely have an alcohol problem, being around alcohol won’t be a problem for them. This belief is a significant barrier to rehabilitation. She continues by saying that she informs her patients that their brains are unable to discern between alcohol and their medication of choice. The addiction returns as soon as you have one or two drinks.
Rahme claims that regardless of the substance an addict or alcoholic uses, they will feel “the need to get utterly drunk and out of it”.Years ago, my mother was bringing wine to the dinner table as my brother came home from a recovery center. She recalled that after he drank the glass, he excused himself to use the washroom. By the time we realized he was gone, he had already left for Hillbrow to get drugs.Rahme also had a customer who, years ago, took her advice to heart and planned a Christmas dinner for 250 guests without serving alcohol in order to encourage the addict in recovery. Ten years later, he is still sober, and they all had a terrific time.