With holiday parties, dwindling cash supply, lack of sleep, and multiple commitments with family and friends it can become increasingly difficult to find ways to stay sober, especially if you’ve recently finished a drug treatment program; detox, rehab or both. The holidays tend to bring out some base emotions due to personal expectation on others as well as perceived expectations from other on to ourselves. The more the tension and stress builds in the world outside the rehab treatment facility, the tougher the struggle becomes within the recovery addict.
Although there are times, and this goes for the newly sober right up to folks with lots of sobriety under their belt, when you’ll need to remember there are choices. Giving in and drinking or drugging is not a mandatory way to conquer the holidays any more. There are some steps that can be taken to help avoid a lapse or relapse. Some old-timers, recovering addicts who have been at sobriety for a while, know these already and for those with new sober eyes they should do what they can to place themselves in no to low-risk situations.
Question: What sort of situations might come up during the holidays and how can I prevent them?
Answer: The holiday times do tend to be filled with parties, one after the other. A really good tip is to create a backup plan. A number of parties during this time, whether they are at a friend’s, work locale, or even a family obligation, can make both the short term and long term recovering addict feel rather apprehensive. If possible, line up a bud that has long time sobriety to go with you, but if that is not possible, get a few numbers from friends because sometimes the desire to drink or drug can get rough and you’ll need to call someone to talk or to come meet you.
Question: How long should I stay?
Answer: Setting a limited time to stay at a party is always a good idea. If you have multiple parties to attend, plan to stay for maybe thirty minutes at each, or an hour. Again, it depends on the amount of parties. Also, be sure to park at the end of a block and not in the driveway where someone can inadvertently block your vehicle. Trying to leave a party and not being able to can be very stressful.
It is also important to remember that not everyone is going to understand what you are going through. So, think twice about talking to someone at a party who is drinking. More often than not they will not be able to find empathy with your situation.
Following these few party guidelines should help set you up for a fun and focused holiday season.