Ring In The New Year
The holidays can be an especially difficult time for recovering addicts. Drinks are practically everywhere, and with the holiday sales, they’re cheaper than ever. For those who have a lot of problems within the family, it can be easy to give in to temptation and escape either through alcohol or drugs. The same can be said for someone who doesn’t have a strong family unit and may be feeling especially lonely during the holidays. To drive out that loneliness, they may spend time with people who don’t have their best interests at heart and find themselves relapsing and falling back into alcohol or drugs.
Essentially, sobriety can be truly tested when the holidays arrive. For those who just got out of addiction treatment, they are especially susceptible. They’re still navigating what a sober life means for them. If they haven’t found a source of support to maintain that life of sobriety as laid out for them at the addiction rehab center they visited, then they may relapse.
To ensure that their sober lifestyles remain strong throughout the holidays, and especially the New Year, here are a few tips.
1. Avoid Triggers
For many addicts, there are certain places, people, and situations that may cause them to relapse more readily than others. For example, someone who has a bad history with their family may find their need to drink become intense when they spend time with their family for a holiday meal or a New Year’s Eve party. An addiction rehab center can typically help an addict uncover their triggers. As such, when they leave, they know what to watch out for and the best ways to either avoid or cope with them.
So, for those who have difficulties with their families, sometimes it may be best to avoid the party altogether. It’s important for the addict to understand that just because their family is their family doesn’t mean that they are entitled to behave a certain way towards that addict. It doesn’t excuse abuse.
For others who may just be triggered by the presence of alcohol or drugs, then avoiding those parties or events where those items will be present is the sure bet to keep from relapsing. They may appear boring to the others, but their health and sound of mind come first before public opinion.
2. Bring Support
If the event or party is unavoidable, or it isn’t too big of a deal to attend so long as the recovering individual has someone there to support them, then bring that person. Whether it’s someone that the recovering addict met at addiction treatment, an old friend who keeps the former addict in line, or just someone who the addict trusts to intermediate if necessary, they can prove to be a huge boon. Not only can that person help the recovering addict feel less guilty about not imbibing alcohol or staying away from party drugs, but they can also become a source if the addict needs to leave the situation.
Something can come up, so to speak, that requires the supporter and former addict to leave the situation. In this way, the former addict doesn’t feel guilty about having to cancel plans or leave early. They also won’t feel as though they are a target for judgment. Bringing support is an excellent solution for those who are unable to decline an invitation where their triggers may be present.
3. Choose Different Activities
Obviously with New Years comes all of the big New Year’s Eve parties. Not only is the traditional toast of champagne or wine customary, but there’s typically a lot of drinking beforehand, too. Besides drinking, some parties may pass around drugs, too. If the recovering addict is invited to one of these parties–innocent or not–they can always decline and fill their New Year’s Eve doing something else instead.
For one, they might choose to volunteer. There are a lot of charities and non-profit organizations that are busy during the holiday seasons. They don’t stop working just because the new year is ringing in. The recovering individual can likely find volunteer work at the local soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or even volunteering at a party where participation isn’t allowed.
By choosing to do something else besides attending a party as a guest, the individual can still bring in the new year in a meaningful way without applying themselves to temptation.
4. Host Own Party
Perhaps one of the best ways a recovering person can ensure that they aren’t going to be tempted with alcohol or drugs is to throw their own party. Make it an alcohol-free or drug-free affair. Only those who are genuinely supportive of the individual will likely show, so from the very start, an environment of safety and security is forged. The opportunity also arises to show others that a fun time can still be had without numbing or enhancing the senses.
There are plenty of alcohol-free drinks that the recovering addict can provide for their guests. Everyone can still raise a glass of non-alcoholic bubbly when the ball drops and counts in the new year. By hosting their own party, the former addict can control that environment. They can be surrounded by a supportive group of friends and family and everyone can have an enjoyable time without feeling pressured in any capacity.
Another interesting party that the recovering person may choose to host is one specifically for those in recovery. They can create a safe place for formerly addicted individuals to come and enjoy each other’s support while ushering in a new year. Since many other people in recovery may be facing the same sort of unease with the temptations present at the biggest party of the year, having somewhere safe to party instead would be greatly appreciated.
There are plenty of ways a recovering addict can protect their sober lifestyle. These tips are just a few of those beneficial methods for protecting sobriety.