For most of the year, you have full control over the situations you put yourself in; this makes it easier to steer clear of anything that may threaten your sobriety. Then Thanksgiving arrives and you know that for the next few weeks you are likely to be invited to social occasions where alcohol is present. Of course, you could simply refuse any invitations, but this is only likely to make you feel lonely which could itself put your sobriety at risk.
The best option is to manage your attendance at each event. Doing so means that you can enjoy the holiday season while still remaining sober.
Be selective about what you agree to
One of the most important things to remember is that you do not have to accept every invitation that you receive. Think carefully about each event and about any risk factors that may be attached. Is the main focus likely to be on alcohol? Is anyone attending likely to cause you to stress? These are types of event that you may want to stay away from. Stick to celebrations where you can feel relaxed and where there is no pressure to drink alcohol.
Make sure that you get enough rest and food beforehand
Being tired and having a low blood sugar level can lead to your stress levels being raised. This is not a good situation to be in if you are mixing with others during the holiday season. This is why you need to ensure that you get plenty of sleep and eat well before you attend an event. The better you feel, physically and mentally, the more likely you are to be able to enjoy yourself while sober.
Have support at hand
The most important thing is always to protect your sobriety. Professionals such as Green Mountain Treatment can help you if you need help with treatment before you deal with the holiday season. You also need to tell someone that you may need to speak to them for support, while you are at a party. It’s a good idea if this is your sponsor or someone else who is in recovery, as they understand the issues that you have.
Plan your escape
Before you go to a party or another event, think about what excuse you can use if you need to make an early exit. For instance, you could say that the sitter needs to leave early, or that you need to get some last minute work finished. If you have a plan in place before you attend it helps to prevent you from panicking should you feel the need to leave at any point?
Take your non-alcoholic drink with you
It’s a good idea to take something non-alcoholic with you, to drink. Doing so means that you have a drink in your hand from when you first arrive and are less likely to be asked if you would like something to drink. Do not let yourself be pressured into drinking alcohol; simply politely decline. It’s also worth remembering that certain foods may contain alcohol, so double check if you are unsure.
Using these measures to protect yourself can help you to remain sober while still enjoying the holiday season with family and friends.