With the holiday season upon us, there will be an abundance of family get-togethers and other holiday events, many that have alcohol. Many people who are in recovery have always associated drugs and alcohol with these gatherings. Maybe they used to handle social anxiety or to deal with other negative energy that often comes with crowds of people with many different outlooks. Family gatherings can be particularly stressful. For those facing their first sober holidays, it may be particularly tricky. Let’s take time today to talk about the different things you can do to help you keep your resolve of making it through sober holidays this year.
Take Care of Yourself First
You can’t function in top form if you deplete all your energy by doing what others want. You need to make sure first that you are okay. Do this by eating and sleeping properly, but also by letting yourself know that what you want matters. You have worked hard to get clean and sober. You don’t owe anyone any explanations. They don’t need to why you don’t want to do something or attend some event. If you feel overwhelmed and need to leave, you have that right. Not putting yourself deliberately into triggering situations is a safety measure. Getting out of a triggering position you didn’t anticipate is another.
Sometimes we run into people, especially at family events, who seem always to try to get us angry or upset. This year, set boundaries and stick with them. These boundaries may anger some people, but it will be understandable to those who care about you. If someone tries to get to you, tell them you won’t engage. If they continue, walk away. If you know there will be people who won’t respect your choice to get clean, avoid them. You don’t need to explain yourself. Decide before the holidays begin what your boundaries need to be for your safety. Then set them and refuse to allow others to cross those boundaries.
You aren’t in this alone. Many people increase the number of support group meetings they attend during the holiday season. If this will help, do it. Gather a few people you can count on to help talk you through any cravings or weaker moments. Set up to have a way out of events that become too overwhelming. You may set up with a friend to text you and say they need your help, and you need to leave. Whatever it takes, don’t try to make it through this time alone, especially if this is your first sober year. You can also add to your support toolbox by gathering things that help you focus or stay calm. They may be meditation, prayer, or merely taking a walk and breathing.
Take a Year Off
There is nothing that says you have to attend any of the social events. If you believe this may be too soon in your recovery, be honest with people and take the year off. You may want to set up a lunch with someone you do want to see during the season. This opportunity gives you the chance to connect in a quiet environment. Maybe set up your own little event with just a few of the people you want to be around who you know love and support your efforts. Those who matter the most will be understanding of your efforts to try and stay on your path.
Sober Holidays Thanks to Recovery Ranch PA
It may have been years since you enjoyed sober holidays, but if you are ready to take that step, we are here to help you. We offer several programs, including:
- Heroin addiction treatment
- Alcohol addiction treatment
- 12 step programs
- Nutrition therapy
- Opiate addiction treatment
Contact us today 717.969.9126 and see what we can offer you in the way of both treatment and support. We want to make this year the first of many more sober holidays to come.