You can stay sober during the holidays, but you need to put a plan in place!
First off, don’t think you need to go to every party that you are invited to.
Pick and choose the places you want to go to, and that you feel are the safest and most supportive of your sobriety.
Next, be sure to tell many people that you are going to an event where there will be drinking, and make sure you have one accountability partner that you can call.
It’s best if you can bring someone to the party who knows you’re drinking and substance abuse history, and will not drink a lot or at all them self.
It can be stressful when people offer you drinks and ask you why you’re not drinking, or make jokes about not drinking. So a good strategy is to have some pre-planned reasons why you’re not drinking. You can say: You’re driving, or you have a big event in the morning that you need to be clear-headed for. You can say you are taking some medication that you should not take with alcohol. Of course you can always be honest and tell people that you don’t drink anymore because it causes you serious problems. Really it does not matter what others think, but if you are at all concerned because of possible work or social implications, you can always have a handy reason to why you are not drinking.There are many reasons why people choose not to drink at parties or in general that are legitimate reasons.
Another good strategy is to bring some of your own drinks such as, seltzer water, sparkling flavored water, soda, sparkling cider or whatever else works for you. Remember you can have fun and you will probably have more fun remembering what you’ve done being sober.
Be helpful and stay active. You can offer to do some clean up while the event is going on, or offer to help decorate and set up if it’s someone you know that is hosting the party. Being productive helps a person feel useful and more connected to the harmony of the event rather than just being an awkward spectator.
Go to events where people are dancing, playing games or are involved in activities where drinking or getting high is not the focal point. Many sober groups have fun events during the holidays where there is no drinking at all. You can do this and you will, with a good plan in place! Your life is better now that you are sober than it ever was; don’t lose that! The holidays will pass and you will be all the better for staying clean and sober through them.
You’ve got this!