(This blog post originally featured on the Elephant Journal 25th November 2021. Credit to Dr. Sanjai Thankachen)
"Many of us equate the holidays with gift giving.
As a matter of fact, the gift of sobriety is the most precious of them all. As such, our recovery must be fiercely protected against relapse during this notoriously festive season. First, though, we need to get into the right frame of mind.
Too often, someone newly sober worries about having such a bland, boring holiday season that it can’t possibly be fun without alcohol. While true that the former ways of enjoying the season must give way to a new version that doesn’t involve alcohol, it doesn’t mean we can’t still have a wonderful time.
If we find ourselves pining away for the partying of the past, we need to stop and shift our attitude. We can look forward to experiencing the holidays this year in a fresh, new way. With careful planning and some outside-the-box thinking, it is absolutely possible to enjoy the holidays without alcohol.
If we are in recovery, it is probably the case that alcohol played multifaceted roles in our lives. During the holidays, when stress levels are usually high, alcohol was likely used to help manage the stress. Dutifully attending job-related holiday events may not have been our cup of tea, so alcohol probably helped get us through them.
And then, of course, there were the holiday parties that gave us a green light to imbibe to our heart’s content.
Now that we are sober, it is necessary to find different ways to both endure and enjoy the holiday season. Celebrating the season without alcohol can actually be really enjoyable.
Continue reading this blog on Elephant Journal for some ideas on how to enjoy the holiday season sober.