5 Things to Remember About Sobriety During the Holidays

by Kelly Fitzgerald |

Sobriety During the Holidays

Can you believe that 2017 has almost come and gone already? This year went by with lightning speed, and we’re already starting the busy holiday season. What does this mean for sobriety? The holidays can bring up a lot for anyone, but especially those of us in recovery. The holidays might remind you of past trauma, family situations or dynamics, drinking trips, or other triggers that could make you think of drinking or using. There are also more parties, get-togethers, and gifts where alcohol may be involved. You already have the tools and skills to stay sober, you just want to keep in mind these 5 things to help you maintain sobriety during the holidays.

1. You are never alone.

You never have to be alone with your feelings. When we get sober, we sometimes think because we’re somewhat “cured,” now that we should keep our feelings in balance and not bother others with our problems. The issue is that nobody is ever “cured,” and addiction can have long-lasting effects. Just because we get sober doesn’t mean we automatically know how to balance our emotions and make the right decision in every situation. It’s important that you share your feelings with people you trust when you are feeling down, when you’re feeling out of balance, or when you’re thinking about drinking. You don’t have to suffer in silence. There are others who’ve been through exactly what you’ve been through, and they can help by listening and offering advice.

2. The holidays are just like any other day.

As humans, we always give special emphasis to holidays. It’s a time to hang out with family and friends, cook, eat, and give to the less fortunate. It’s a time when we engage in traditions. There are decorations, presents, and special events. We might receive work bonuses. We might travel. If we look at the big picture, however, the holidays are just like any other day of the year. We get up, we brush our teeth, we eat breakfast, we engage in our recovery routine, and we go to sleep at night. It may be helpful for you to remember that even though the holiday season can feel different, it’s just another part of a regular year. This helps me stay in perspective, especially with my sobriety. I still have to do the things I always do to stay sober, even during the holidays.

3. The past is the past.

Table Setting For A Holiday Party Representing Sobriety During the HolidaysAs I mentioned, the holidays might bring you back to times during your drinking that aren’t the happiest memories. Maybe, you associate Halloween with binge drinking, or Christmas with mimosas. Maybe, you had an embarrassing experience one year during Thanksgiving dinner. It’s useful to remind yourself often that the past is the past. Although we can use past experiences and memories to illustrate exactly why we’re sober, it doesn’t do us any good to constantly relive the pain of our past. Sobriety is a great time to make new memories during the holidays. It’s a time to correct your behavior and do better. It’s also a time to be gentle with ourselves and realize we are not the things we did in our past. Enjoy this year’s holidays for what they are – new, sober experiences.

4. If it makes you uncomfortable, you don’t have to participate.

This goes for any time in sobriety, but especially around the sobriety during the holidays. If there is a holiday party where people are drinking and it makes you feel comfortable, leave. If your heart isn’t into the work holiday get-together, don’t go. If there is a gift exchange among friends and all they do is drink and/or gift alcohol, don’t participate! In sobriety, we have choices, and it’s your choice to not participate in anything that might make you feel uncomfortable. This includes being around family members or friends who might trigger you in any way or encourage you to drink. Remember, the holidays aren’t a good reason to put yourself in any dangerous or uncomfortable position.

5. Sobriety during the holidays should be your priority.

All of these items should be reiterating one important fact: your sobriety should be number one. You might be thinking, well that’s selfish, but in sobriety you have to be. Your sobriety should come before everything, because if you’re not sober you can’t be the best version of yourself. You can’t be responsible, stay out of trouble, and make good decisions in your life without sobriety. The holidays can make us nostalgic. They can make us want to go back to our old life, and that poses a unique threat to sobriety. What we can do is stay aware of this, take actions to keep sobriety as our priority, and safeguard ourselves during the holiday season.

The holidays are quickly approaching, but there is no reason to be nervous or fearful. Treat the holiday season like you do any other day, stay active in your recovery and keep your sobriety toolbox close.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Vital perspectives on fighting addiction delivered straight to your inbox.

    What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Delphi Behavioral Health Group?

    We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that AddictionCenter is compensated by Delphi Behavioral Health Group for the work AddictionCenter does in the development and operation of this site. Delphi Behavioral Health Group was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with AddictionCenter, based on the quality of treatment that Delphi provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Delphi Behavioral Health Group is a trusted provider with AddictionCenter.

    All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group. If Delphi Behavioral Health Group is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.

    Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

    (855) 826-4464

    Take control of your life

    Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

    • Access to top treatment centers
    • Caring, supportive guidance
    • Financial assistance options

    Call now:

    (855) 826-4464

    OR

    Have us call you:

    (877) 746-0480

      Where do calls go?

      Calls to numbers dedicated to a specific treatment center profile will be routed to that treatment center. All other calls will be routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group.

      Rehab experts are available 24/7/365 to answer and return calls routed to Delphi.

      All calls are private and confidential.

      How do we choose our partners?

      Find out more about AddictionCenter.

      A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.