Christmas can be a tricky time of year for recovering addicts. There are triggers everywhere, Christmas parties, old associations… sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming.
But one thing’s for sure, you don’t need to pick up!
Here are six tips to help you stay sober this Christmas.
Avoid risky, triggering places and people.
Find out who’s going to be there and steer clear if it doesn’t feel right. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t put your recovery at risk because you feel like you need to please people and show up at their party. If you stay sober you can catch up some other time in the future.
If you have to go, try to controlthe environment to keep yourself safe.
Always have a non-alcoholic drink in hand. This way you can say “I’ve already got one” when people ask if you want a drink.
Have someone you can phone and talk to if things get tricky. Maybe a sponsor or a trusted friend in recovery. Picking up the phone can make the difference in keeping you clean.
If you’ve done these things and you’re still struggling, escape. Have a back up plan to make an exit if you need to.
Be of service on Christmas day. It’s the best way to get into the Christmas spirit- much better than lazing round drinking. By helping others, you can also feel good about yourself at a time of year when you might otherwise feel down.
Stay connected with recovery. Get to meetings. Talk to friends in recovery. That way you know you’re not alone.
Don’t talk to Santa. Old using associates can be a big trigger.