The last thing you want to do after working so hard to get sober is to jeopardize all your hard work during the upcoming holidays. There may be temptations like wine and other substances offered to you while you are celebrating. It’s important that you exercise caution while navigating different gatherings. Having a sober plan ready can help you refine the ways you will approach the upcoming holidays and remain sober.
You will likely encounter people during the holidays who aren’t aware that you are currently sober or may be skeptical about your progress. That can lead to some awkward discussions that can leave you feeling unsettled. Start practicing how you might react to different questions put to you at various gatherings.
One thing you can do to decrease your feelings of unease is having some practiced answers ready. Do your best to stick to them and avoid letting yourself get drawn into more heated discussions. Decide beforehand where you will set your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to politely excuse yourself from any conversations that put you on edge and hurt your efforts at staying sober.
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Another way you can make holiday gatherings more comfortable is by bringing along a friend for support. They can act as a mediator and pull you away when they get a sense that things may be getting out of hand.
You can also prepare yourself for remaining sober through the holidays by ensuring your support system is there for you during that period. Contact your therapist and schedule some sessions before attending any gatherings. This will give you a chance to talk through any worries or concerns beforehand. You may also wish to drop in on some additional meetings leading up to the holidays.
Express your worries while in therapy, making sure to discuss any symptoms of depression or other issues that may be cause for concern. The goal is to get through the holidays without turning to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Attending therapy and meetings gives you the chance to go over different tools and techniques for handling your issues without self-medicating with various substances.
Have the contact information of people like your sponsor or therapist available to call when you find yourself experiencing a moment of weakness. Hearing the voice of someone concerned about your welfare can pull you out of a potential downward spiral during the holidays.
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Watch out for so-called “trigger timebombs” that could be lying in wait at different holiday gatherings. If you’re going to a private party, try to find out who will be attending. You want to avoid being around people from your past life who might be a bad influence.
If you are an alcoholic, it may be a good idea to avoid bars or other settings where a lot of alcohol will be served. Do not attend a party at the home of someone you know to be an active user. Being around people during the holidays who don’t respect the terms of your sobriety could draw you back toward self-destructive behavior.
You are not obligated to stay around people who aren’t supportive of your efforts at sobriety. If you feel that your mindset is becoming more negative, contact someone who can help you shift your thinking patterns into a more positive direction.
GIA Miami can help patients looking to change harmful behaviors. Our South Florida facility provides a safe, comforting atmosphere where you can get well and look forward to future healthy holidays.
The services and programs offered at GIA Miami include:
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