Holiday sobriety is always a challenge. It's officially the holiday season, and we're racing straight towards Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza. There will be parties family gatherings, office parties, New Year's night's whatever, and so on. Over the years, we've done a lot of tip guides for how to stay safe when you're sober and confronted with Winter's tempting delights, and here's another one because you can never have too many reminders on the sobriety basics.
Holiday Sobriety Needs A Boost
Your holiday sobriety needs support. Unless you are the only person on earth with a totally sane, sober family and friends, you will be confronted with things like:
- People enjoying alcoholic drinks (or gingerbread) that you once loved as well.
- Family discussing things that push your buttons. For example, "Susan, you're over 35... Any plans on kids?" Or, "Jack, you STILL haven't found a job yet??" Or, "Mary, is little Billy in public school?? Private is so much safer these days." Any of that sound familiar? Yup, while they may mean well, it stings.
- Your singleness being on display.
- Your stressed relationship being on display.
- Hiding your muffin top so your failed diet won't be on display.
- Seeing an ex-anything you don't want to see.
- Your kids acting up.
And more fun stuff like that.
Holiday Party Sobriety Survival Kit
So, my holiday depression-prevention guide includes:
- One designated person who is around and available to take my call if necessary.
- Seeing my "mentors" before going into the holiday. You can fill in the word mentor with any of the following as appropriate: sponsor, therapist, sober friend, safe friend or family member, sane/reliable resource.
- A fool-proof out if I need to leave wherever I am.
- Shows I'm excited to watch on my Netflix (especially comedy).
- Foods I'm excited to eat in my fridge.
- One date with someone special - can be romantic but doesn't have to be if you don't have someone in your life right now. I work with an incredible dog trainer who I've heard recommend many times over the years that you should make special time with your dog when you're single. No one else will love you that unconditionally so honor them when you can. There's no question that when I take my dog for a hike, then for a ride in the car, then make him a homemade meal; he looks at me like I'm God. That can actually go quite a long way.
- Be of service. We all know showing up for other people can be a lifesaver for them and us, so take the time to check in on other sober people to make sure they're hanging in there too.
Alright, Merry Everything! Stay safe, stay sane and stay sober :)