The holidays can be a dangerous time for those who are new to trying to stay sober, but for those who have been recovered for some time, the season can be filled with fun and joy once again, rather than being filled with fear and stress.
As R.P.W. posted in the Alcoholism/Substance Abuse Forum, the holidays can look a lot different through sober eyes:
This will be my second holiday season sober, although I have had one slip in between, and I am looking forward to them immensely.
I was never really “drunk” during the Holidays, but often found myself thinking of the drinking I was going to do at parties and then missing out on the many happy times that were occurring around me. My mind was preoccupied perhaps. Later, I would be depressed, because my expectations were not met or I felt I missed something!
Well, I have found that not only for the Holidays, but for most every other occasion, being sober, and especially working on recovery, makes me more present in each and every moment. I love the feeling of being there , participating in the present moment.
I see things in people (actually I look for them) that I never recognized before. A lot of people have a love and joy within them that they truly want to share. I never noticed God working that way before.
Our family is so grateful for my recovery and so many other things, that we have adopted a family this year to share our love and Christmas spirit with. We, as a family, have recognized what has become important to us over the years and decided that time together is crucial, but sharing our love mandatory.
It has been very rewarding to see each of our children pick out a member of our adopted family and buying gifts for them. Selfishly, I have loved it too.
Remember what it was like buying gifts for someone who would really appreciate it for what it was, rather than looking for the “perfect gift?” I feel like our adopted family will appreciate the gifts we have selected as we thought about what they needed during our shopping.
It is very rewarding to give during this time of year and certainly a way to bring joy to all of us, and another tool to strengthen my recovery and continued sobriety.
Although the season can be daunting when you are new to recovery, the holiday can still be celebrated without drugs and alcohol. With a bit of careful planning, the season’s activities can be negotiated while maintaining sobriety. Parties can be safe and fun.