Sobriety and Independence Day
When you go to parties during the holidays people will give a bottle of wine as a gift to a friend to show their love for one another. It is no coincidence that your local grocery store stocks up with booze and creates big sculptors out of 12 packs of beer either.
Today society glamorizes alcohol, they use drinking to fit in or to feel included. Many individuals who are not in recovery, or who just don’t partake in drinking, often struggle with staying sober during the holidays too.
Cocktail parties, 4th of July barbecues, and other social gatherings are going to be very difficult to attend while recovering. You are going to think of your last independence day and how you were drinking, drugging, or gambling. You will start to reminisce on the old times and it can only go downhill from there, if you don’t do anything to change your thought process.
Although it can be very hard to get used to the idea of staying sober through this holiday weekend when romanticizing on the old times, remaining sober through this difficult time is something you should be more than proud of.
Take this opportunity to not only celebrate the holidays, but to celebrate your new life as well, your first independence day sober!
If you find yourself struggling during this holiday, you are not alone. There are many other recovering addicts feeling the same as you. Help is only a meeting, function, or phone call away! Don’t make staying sober hard, make staying sober fun.
You put the work into getting clean and sober so enjoy it and have fun! Many 12-step groups have special events during the holidays to share their experience, strength, and hope on how they made staying sober FUN during the holidays. Attending a 12-step event will give you the opportunity to meet others who know how your feeling and help you get out of your funk!
Even though getting out and meeting other recovering individuals may cause fear and be the exact opposite of your idea to have fun – particularly if you are in early recovery and still trying to find your footing, at least consider trying it out. You never know until you try. Making friends and experiencing new horizons is an excellent way of getting involved in healthier ways to have fun during the holidays.
If you are nervous to go to a function, call a sober friend or your sponsor. Let them know how you are feeling and see what they suggest or ask them to come with you! Functions are loads of fun. They have barbecues, guest speakers, games, events, and much more. You would be surrounded by people who know how you are feeling and you will be having so much fun while creating new and sober memories. However, if you feel as if you would rather hang out with your family and friends bring a sober buddy!!!
Visit this website to find a sober function near you- http://www.aagrapevine.org/calendar
Nothing Better than a Sober Buddy!
It’s a good idea to keep in mind the people you can call when you need extra support going to your family’s party or just bring someone with you, someone you can trust. Choose people who you know will be around if you need them and who you know will be supportive. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to reach out to them if you find yourself needing to.
A sober buddy can go with you to take some of the fear out of adjusting to your lifestyle. Make sure you feel like you can trust and rely on this person. You don’t want them to accompany you for the wrong reasons.
Sober buddies know how to keep you on the recovery path because they’ve been where you are and know what to do in worst case scenarios.
If you can’t find a friend to go with you to your family’s party and hanging around the alcohol is getting to you; go hang around the younger crowd. Distract yourself from bad influences. Go play duck-duck-goose with the kids, get in the pool, or play hide-and-seek. Sometimes bringing out your inner child, laughing, having imagination, and smiling is the best cure for a trigger.
What You Do Need
The holidays are going to be hard but in order to stay serene you need to enjoy life, make memories, and challenge yourself, sober. You don’t need drugs and alcohol to enjoy life. We are in recovery for a reason, why throw it away for one silly day. You have worked so hard, don’t give up now.
Dance, talk, and party sober. Letting loose will allow you to truly enjoy your life for what it is, not what you want it to be. When you are enjoying yourself, you will curb bad habits by creating new memories. The negative memories will start to fade as they are replaced with fun memories of sobriety. And if an old memory comes up, it is okay if you have a trigger, as long as you do something about it. Challenge yourself to identify what works and doesn’t work for you.
What Happens If I Do Get Triggered?
Triggers are just learning curves. It can only make you grow in your sobriety. Having and overcoming a trigger is nothing you should be ashamed about; celebrate in the strength you have when you say no and mean it. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get the hang of this sober thing right away.
The development of learning new ways to have fun in recovery involves following simple steps. You generally begin by remembering why you got sober in the first place and remember to celebrate your recovery. You should plan to make a 12-Step function part of your plan, it is getting involved in activities and being around the same wavelength of recovering individuals that you can develop your circle of support.
Don’t forget the importance of allowing yourself to laugh – often. In the meantime, make sure that partying with friends and family are safe with realistic boundaries, so they have the potential to be healthy and good fun for all involved.
Be aware that life is a gift and it is short. You will learn other ways to have fun and maintain your recovery in the process. Think of this as one more part of a thrilling voyage you are taking. And, hats off in advance on what you are going to acquire and derive to enjoy.