A Toolkit for Sober Holidays

A Toolkit for Sober Holidays

A lot of people experience the hardest parts of sobriety during the holidays — when family, friends, constant partying around alcohol and substances, and even past traumas from this time of the year — all seem to be in full force. The holidays may be an extremely difficult time, and experiencing them through sobriety (for the first time, or for the thirtieth!) can sometimes feel daunting. Everyone’s journey is different, but I wanted to be able to share some of my coping mechanisms with you in the hopes that it might help. Whether you yourself are sober, or you know someone who is newly sober, I hope you find these tips helpful in your own way. I like to call them my ‘tool kit’ for living.

I Never Looked at It Like That Before

I Never Looked at It Like That Before

On airplanes large or small, I go to any lengths for an aisle seat. Probably left over from my drinking days when I was restless, fidgety, and impatient. Not to mention the need for frequent bathroom trips from the steady stream of liquids I consumed. Nor my passive/aggressive emotions toward any seat mates I had to climb over. No room for error in aisle seat attainment…

Sober Holiday Self-Care

Sober Holiday Self-Care

Strong boundaries are the foundation of my self-care. I began by saying no to a glass of wine, but now I’m able to say no to other uncomfortable holiday activities… When I look at my calendar in December, I often feel like I might hyperventilate. This holiday season, I encourage you to listen to your own little voice. Set boundaries, take care of yourself, and remember… Your sobriety is the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones.

Prayer Treatment: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Prayer Treatment: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Right here and right now, I recognize there is one mystical magical power that knows when I am sleeping and knows when I’m awake. It is the all-knowing intelligence and power that is always omnipresent, not just at this magical time of year. It is my Higher Power, my Highest Power. I close my eyes and sense it within; I open my eyes and sense it all around me, in people, places, and things. With this awareness, I see everything in a new light.

Joyful Recovery Habits

Joyful Recovery Habits

Addiction causes changes within your brain that rob you of the ability to feel joy without the presence of alcohol or drugs. One of the biggest challenges of recovery is finding new ways to have fun. You may even have to force yourself to do things while your brain chemistry returns to normal. But here’s the good news – if you “fake it ‘til you make it”, you will find that engaging in healthy, positive activities can promote the natural production of your body’s “feel-good” chemicals. You will start enjoying yourself IN SPITE of yourself…

7 Things to Close Out this Month of Thanksgiving

7 Things to Close Out this Month of Thanksgiving

I am thankful I’m past the point of obsessing that 1½ bottles of wine was all that was consumed by 12 guests – and there was some left over in the bottle! I am thankful I could easily, unceremoniously, and instantly pour the leftover wine down the sink. I am thankful for leftover food however, and also that it’s just about gone…

Thanksgiving: Past and Present, Present and Sober

Thanksgiving: Past and Present, Present and Sober

As Thanksgiving approached, I was almost five months sober––and an orphan. Up until then, I had not experienced a holiday without my Mom and Dad. Honestly, I had no idea how I would make it through, much less stay sober. By the grace of God, the rooms of AA and the people in them, and my friends in Science of Mind, I did make it through––and I did stay sober. In a very real way, I learned what it meant to live one day at a time. And within those days, I frequently practiced living one moment at a time and one breath at a time.

Emphasizing the Joy of Sobriety

Emphasizing the Joy of Sobriety

I stopped drinking almost 20 years ago, and I sometimes think that my real life began on that day in 1991. Getting sober was one of the best things I ever did, and, strangely, one of the most liberating. Drinking was one of the worst things I did, and I did it continuously and abusively from the age of 18 into my late 40s… I once thought that life couldn’t be fully experienced without alcohol: but the truth is the opposite – life can be more fully experienced without alcohol.