The holidays can be especially stressful for people in recovery. We asked five women who have a combined 122 years in long-term recovery for their tips on staying sober during the holidays. From plans to make ahead of time to what to do once you’ve arrived, these suggestions will help you maintain your recovery this holiday so you’ll be here to enjoy the next one!
Cynthia, 28 years in recovery
When I go to functions where there is drinking, I always take someone with me that knows that I’m in recovery as support. Because I’m gonna tell you, no matter how much time you have clean, you can still be triggered.
Meg, 22 years in recovery
I’ve been in recovery for 22 years, and this one has served me well. And that is to hang out at the kids’ table and in the game room playing with the kids during holiday events. Keeps me away from the alcohol.
Ramona, 26 years in recovery
Never leave home without someone that would come and get you in your time of need. Have that one person that you can depend on, no matter what time night or day it might be, that your stomach tells you, “you need to get out because it feels uncomfortable.”
Tracey, 13 years in recovery
I like to bring my beverage to any gathering, that way if they ask me if I’d like something to drink, I say, “No, I already have something.”
Kathy, 33 years in recovery
If you’re going out to celebrate with your family and friends, and you’re newly in recovery or you’ve been in recovery for a while, we suggest that you take someone with you. Because the ultimate weapon for the disease of addiction is another recovering addict. Therefore, if you’re in the room with your family or friends, and events are starting to take place and you’re starting to feel as though it’s too much for you, you’ll have someone there to be there as your support.
Enjoy your holiday, and remember: don’t take the first one!