Ep. 199 – How to stay sober during the holidays

The holiday season is here upon us. This can be tough for those who are in early recovery, especially being with family. Along with family comes a lot of emotions. You may have indulged in drugs and alcohol to get through previous holidays to get yourself through this time. Now, however; you are sober and you’ll need to put new tools in your toolbox to move through the holidays sober.

The big question I’m going to discuss today: How can we go into the holiday season and be sure we will be OK when we get out the other side?

Don’t go into the holiday season with the idea that this will be hard for you. Put your fear aside, celebrate being joyful with friends and family. Especially if you’re new to sobriety, take heart to follow these steps and make your holiday season a good and memorable one. 

Here is a plan you can follow to have a safe, fun and enjoyable holiday season this year:

#1 Create a plan for your holiday

Not just plan where to go, but how you are going to deal with situations. If you are seeing family, you’ll most likely be going back to the same dysfunction or bad habits of the family. Think about what you are going to do and say when family members put you in a “party” situation or try to bring you to a bar.

#2 Find a meeting where you are going during the holiday

Find a support person locally to reach out and talk to someone who can support you. 

#3 Communicate with your family members

Tell your family your boundaries and expectations for your health and to support you. Let your family know if they cannot support you, that you will not be coming to the family function. They won’t know what you expect unless you communicate with them effectively. Share with them your expectations weeks before you are going to meet them for the holidays. This will relieve the awkwardness of your family so they will know what you feel comfortable with during events. Tell your family that you don’t want to be offered alcohol or drugs. If they are drinking, you may need to be in a different room.

#4 Set up your accountability partners beforehand

The newly recovered person should decide before they go to a family function who the responsible family members are which they can have for support.

#5 Look at this as an opportunity to create new, wonderful memories with your family!

Look for happy moments and fill your time with fun activities with your family and friends. Have meaningful conversations and tell them about your newfound sobriety. You may be a vehicle for others to become sober. You may have spent years not being there for your family, this is your time to show your family and friends you are sober and there for them. Have gratitude you have this opportunity to spend time with them. 

  1. If your family is a party family and always uses drugs or alcohol, your best choice is to not attend a family gathering. Be proud of your sobriety and do not put yourself in a situation to lose what you have done for yourself! 

There’s nothing on the face of this planet that is worth more than your sobriety.

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Show Notes:

  • [01:44] Sobriety – you haven’t had to be sober for previous holidays, but now you do!
  • [03:22] Going into your first holiday season as a sober person.
  • [04:33] #1 Create a plan for your holiday
  • [07:11]What should you do when your family puts you in a not-so-great situation? Plan ahead!
  • [09:09] #3 Communicate with your family members
  • [12:03] Decide what family members are supportive and communicate with them. #4 Set up your accountability beforehand.
  • [15:59] Know that you have a say in what you do with alcohol. 
  • [19:09] Be proud to be the sober person in the crowd.
  • [20:15] There’s nothing on the face of this planet that is worth more than your sobriety.

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