The holiday season can be fraught with pitfalls and anxiety for the newly sober person. Suddenly holidays may seem depressing or even frightening. “How do I go to my holiday work party and stay sober?” “How do I spend time with my family??” “What do I do on New Years???” Suddenly it becomes much more clear that the majority of holidays cater to the non-sober crowd. Suddenly the way you celebrate holidays has to change drastically (and in many cases – it must – if you want to live to see more holidays).
At first, this can seem like a major “con” on your “pros/cons” list for sobriety. But remember this. A night without drinking and using may mean that you can wake up the next day without a hangover, without shame or guilt, without trying to piece together what happened the night before. Over time, you will realize that you are actually not “missing out” by choosing a sober lifestyle.
Develop your own sober strategies, but here are a few to get you started: have a glass of something non-alcoholic in your hand, bring a sober friend with you, and remind yourself how good you will feel the next day. Begin creating new holiday traditions that bring you joy, and you will find that you will no longer wonder how to manage the holidays sober – you will look forward to them!
Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D
Licensed Clinical Psychologist – Clinical Director
AToN Center 888-535-1516