How Can I Stay Sober and Still Enjoy the Holidays?

There’s a lot to worry about during the holidays. With temptations bombarding you left and right, party invitations to attend or decline, AA meetings to get to, family conflicts to resolve–not to mention all the “normal” stressors like figuring out what to buy for your mom–the holidays can be the most stressful time of the year for people in recovery.

We get it. It’s stressful to stay dry during the wettest month of the year. It’s even stressful remembering how to deal with the stress. You’re head is so crammed with tips and tools for dealing with everything that one more piece of advice will probably cause your head to explode into a zillion pieces of brain mush. So don’t worry: this isn’t one of those blogs on how to handle the stress of how to handle the stress of being stressful. (Or is it?) Rather, this is a list of how to enjoy your holidays, because we understand how difficult it is to enjoy your holidays while worrying about staying sober.

1. Stay connected with your support group.

Get together with people from your AA group. Stay connected with them because they are all experiencing the same thing. Share your burdens, support and encourage each other. There is joy in mutual fellowship; you never have to be alone for Christmas.

2. Limit your Commitments

Many people in recovery feel guilty or left out when they turn down so many invitations. But don’t worry, because they will come around next year. Your recovery is top priority, not your social status.

3. Stay calm.

Remember that not everybody speaks recovery language. Don’t feel like you have to tell everybody about the twelve steps, what went on in rehab or how many days you are sober. You don’t need to spill your guts and tell your life story to everybody who asks you why you want a drink.

4. Think positive.

Remember that not everybody is looking at you like you think they are. Not everybody looks at your and thinks of what happened five Christmases ago. Nor will they put you on the spot and question you about rehab.The holidays are a stressful time for anybody, not just those in recovery. Chances are, they have things of their own to worry about. Other times, they will be just grateful that you showed up

5. Rest. 

Sleep. A well-rested body is one of the best ways to combat stress. 'Nuff said. 

6. Take one day at at time.

The holidays do not last forever, no matter how many people wish it to be so. January 2nd will be here before you know it. And you'll emerge, stronger than you feel and readier than you think to face the new year.

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