Well, now that both Canadian and American Thanksgivings are over we move on to Christmas and get ready for a New Year.
I hope you all had a triumphant Thanksgiving and got through any obstacles you encountered. The next festivity, Christmas and New Years Eve! It’s the best time of year for most, but, it is also the most depressing time of the year for some. Christmas is about family gatherings, great friends getting together and so on. With all those parties and gatherings, also comes alcohol. How can I do this? Is the question we ask ourselves.
I’ve put some suggestions below that I practiced in the beginning of my journey and still utilize today, 9.5 years later to get me through such times.
Getting through those parties and gatherings:
First and foremost, PLEASE don’t worry about what people are going to say. You would be surprised at the responses you get when you tell people you are not drinking. It’s utter amazement that your strong enough to do so.
Tip One – The questions: If your not comfortable telling people yet that you are trying out sobriety, then be prepared to have an answer such as, you are the DD, you are taking a break, you need to be up early etc.
Tip Two – What to drink: I personally enjoy sparkling water with some fruit in it, or mixed with pomegranate juice, coffee, but make it a good one, get a specialty coffee, get it on your way to the party and that will be an excuse for not accepting a drink, and of course tea, herbals are the best and most relaxing. When I started out on my sobriety journey I put my choice of drink (water, juice etc) in a wine glass or a fancy glass. It saved the questions of why I wasn’t drinking. Nobody knew there was no alcohol in it!
Tip Three – Escape plan: Have an exit plan ready before you go. It may be a little overwhelming once you get there and you may be filled with anxiety. Have a code word with your date and make sure he/she is prepared to leave the party if you need to get out. If you are alone, have an excuse as to why you need to leave. Like a work meeting, meeting someone or you are not feeling well. Plan before you go!
Tip Four – Buddy system: Bring a friend with you that understands what you are going through and can offer you support and stay sober with you at the events or gatherings.
Tip Five – Dress it up: One of my other passions is fashion. In the beginning of my journey I found that going to buy something new to wear for the event made me feel ready to go and I felt really good in my new digs! You look good you feel good right! It helped a lot. If you can’t afford to shop then ask a friend to borrow something that you’ve had your eye on.
Tip Six – Breathe: Be mindful of your breathing and anticipation for the event. Practice breathing exercises before and during. Take a bathroom break and sit, relax and breathe. 5 times in through your nose and out through your mouth. It does work. Don’t listen to those voices in your head that tell you you can’t do this. Breathe.
Now, let’s make a plan to have a great Holiday…Sober….
Don’t think about what’s ahead, we only have today.
This is, Being Me Sober