When we think of the holidays, many of us picture parties and special events full of drinking. It’s hard for us to think of celebration or fun without drugs and alcohol. When we are in recovery, getting through the holidays successfully, and actually enjoying them, means creating new associations and finding new sources of enjoyment.
There are plenty of options for fun and celebration that don’t involve drugs and alcohol, or any other addictive behavior we’ve become dependent upon. Think about all the other things you enjoy and incorporate them into the holiday season. We can create new traditions out of the things we love. We don’t have to rely on the traditional things if they interfere with our sobriety. Start a tradition of playing games, listening to music, watching movies, or cooking together with loved ones. Swap recipes, host a potluck dinner, or throw a cooking competition party. Go for a walk with hot chocolate or hot apple cider and enjoy all the beautiful holiday lights in your area. Warm up the cold, dark winter with light by cozying up to a fire, lighting candles, hanging beautiful lanterns or decorating a tree. Take advantage of all the fun outdoor winter activities like sledding, ice skating and building snow figures and forts. Revisit your childhood memories and do some of the fun things you enjoyed doing when you were younger.
The holiday season can be particularly challenging to our sobriety. It can bring us additional temptation because so many people around us are drinking more than usual. Office parties that for some people are a welcome change of routine can be especially hard for us. Family and friends having gatherings and socializing can threaten to take us off course with our sobriety, especially if they don’t know we’re in recovery. It might be a good idea to avoid these parties, and to create our own fun without the spiked eggnog, champagne and cocktails so common during the holiday season. Try non-alcoholic versions of your favorite drinks. Throw parties with your friends in recovery so that you can all party without having to worry about being surrounded by temptation. Take a vacation, go for a drive or a road trip, or try a new restaurant, to experience somewhere completely new for the holidays and bring a sense of adventure to the holiday season. We can redefine fun and celebration so that we don’t derail our progress in recovery.
Part of the healing process is getting back in touch with the goodness of life. There is so much to enjoy and savor in recovery. Call 888-570-7154 to see how we can help.