Single and sober? Dreading the holidays because this may be a first for you? Do you pace your room worrying before you head out anywhere? Are you anxious about seeming to be alone. Are you worried about relapse? You’re not alone. With parties going on everywhere, it seems that everyone is drinking. They’re not. There’s a whole new sober curious movement. More people are getting sober every day. If you open up about , you’ll be surprised who else is joining

When you return home for family events, everyone may still be drinking there, too. It’s a constant reminder of what you can’t do.

Being single on the holidays can make it even harder. It appears that everyone is connected and having fun. They’re not. Now’s the time you need some sober inspiration to stay on track.

14 ways to be safe and happy when you’re single and sober

  1. Create a sobriety plan. Write yourself a letter telling yourself why you want to stay sober. You can journal about the past. You can remind yourself of the wreckage. You can talk about the benefits of your life in recovery. Just get it out — what you need to do to be all right, right now.
  2. Stay connected with your sponsor, or get one who can be there for you when you’re in a predicament. This is general.
  3. Meditate before you leave home for a party or event that makes you nervous. Even a few minutes of measured breathing can create a a calm space in your head.
  4. Help someone else who is alone. When you reach out to someone else who is alone, or struggling, there is a multiplier effect. You feel better and so does the person(s) you touch. Helping is the most powerful tool for recovery and personal growth.
  5. Enjoy the seasonal parties while they’re enjoyable and know when to part. Leave the minute you’ve had enough.
  6. Bring your own beverages to parties where you’re not sure you can get a zero proof drink. You can even bring a fancy glass for your own mock cocktail. I do.
  7.  Have a person you can call if you feel unsafe. This can be a sponsor, or sober friend. You can feel unsafe at family parties, too. God knows people continue to think you can have just one. Safety is feeling okay, not threatened, not teased or encouraged to drink.
  8. Opt out of parties that are only about drinking. This means you can pass on parties in bars, or cocktail parties that are all about the drink. You don’t have to go. Drinking parties and bars are triggers. You don’t need that.
  9. Write a gratitude list of people in your family you have to spend time with even if they make you crazy. What do you like about them, instead of what you dislike. Positive feelings create better relationships and more fun.
  10.  Read a new recovery book to start the year off right.
  11. Avoid family members who have hurt you. You don’t have to be with anyone who causes you pain.
  12. Celebrate your sobriety with a gift to yourself.
  13. Volunteer anywhere. Helping others help you.
  14. Start a new holiday tradition.

Single and sober new holiday tradition

Have a potluck dinner. Share experiences about a family gathering or work related party.  You’re guaranteed to laugh and cry, and sympathize and feel the fellowship of others who are just like you.


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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation.

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