Successful alcohol addiction treatment requires a plan that will allow you to return to a normal, happy life, including enjoying holidays and other meaningful celebrations. However, those suffering from substance abuse disorders have often come to associate holidays with drugs or alcohol. Rather than deprive yourself of holiday festivities, it is important to make contingency plans that encourage other types of meaningful celebrations. At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we understand how a structured aftercare program is critical to staying sober. Call our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn how a sober and satisfying holiday season can be your reality.
The Temptation of Drinking on Thanksgiving
With food and libations flowing freely and potentially stressful family gatherings to navigate, many individuals in recovery find this one of the most difficult times of year to stay sober. Thanksgiving may be the first time you have seen some of these individuals since entering rehab, so it is only natural to feel anxious about their responses to the “new you.”
The good news is, you’re entering the holiday detoxed and with a fresh perspective, which means that your willpower will keep you on course, provided it is not overtaxed. A little planning can go a long way to make sure that your stress level remains manageable. And, besides–there may be some really fun and rewarding aspects of the holiday that you’ve never truly experienced.
Tips to Avoid Drinking on Thanksgiving
Here are some strategies you can adopt to avoid compromising situations this Thanksgiving:
- Avoid announcing the news of your recovery on Thanksgiving itself. It may take some time for even the most supportive people to process this information and plan appropriately (such as not preparing alcohol-based dishes).
- If you are nervous about feeling “trapped,” drive yourself or take a cab to the gathering, so you can leave on your own accord if needed.
- Keep your hands as busy as possible. Most families have an enormous amount of food prep and cleaning on Thanksgiving and will likely appreciate the help.
- Always have a non-alcoholic beverage such as seltzer, sparkling cider, or punch in your hand, so well-meaning friends and family don’t constantly offer you drinks.
- Plan some kid-friendly activities for the day that you will want to remain mentally present for, such as a pick-up football game or a trip to the moves after dinner.
- If Thanksgiving is about indulgence for you, plan some other, non-alcohol-based treats to allow yourself. That extra sliver of pie or serving of potatoes may go a long way towards the day feeling like a true celebration.
Of course, not every situation will be equally amenable. In this case, it is recommended to commit to an activity such as volunteering at a charity meal or Turkey Trot or gathering with other members of your support group. Also, if you are traveling, make sure you find the address of a local meeting in advance and program it into your phone (better safe than sorry!).
In summary, identify what problems to take on and what to leave for next year. If there is a particularly difficult family member you dread facing, or if there are family members who do not support your recovery efforts, you may wish to avoid those particular triggers during your first year. These are excellent topics to bring to your therapist, sponsor, or group therapy session leading up to the holiday.
Find the Aftercare Support Necessary at Gulf Breeze Recovery
At Gulf Breeze Recovery, we can offer you the tools you need to successfully return to a satisfying life. Call our team today at 833.551.2304 to learn about our comprehensive aftercare program, which will arm you with all of the support you need to enjoy the holiday season once more.