Toward the end of my run out there, a raucous Christmas party took place annually, full of loud and lively people I barely knew. Although there was food by the ton, mostly there was booze. Booze was the theme, the centerpiece, and the focus – a chance to toast and get toasted. In my Christmas past, it felt like big fun. Once I got sober, I didn’t attend for a few years.
Take a walk or a ride around after dark and look at the night sky– the moon, the stars, and at this time of year, the beautiful, twinkling, sparkling Christmas lights . . . Put on music and dance around, alone or together – salsa, waltz, rock n roll, tango, disco . . . Sit silently outside in a naturally beautiful place for 30 – 60 minutes, deeply inhaling the fragrance . . . Find a friend that makes you laugh, and generate laughter . . .
Pretty much every recovering addict knows about 12-step meetings, sponsorship, working the steps, and going to therapy. And much of the time those tools are enough to establish and maintain early sobriety. Over time, however, addicts inevitably encounter situations where those highly useful forms of support are not available. In such cases, it is wise to have at least a few other tools of sobriety on which to rely.
We are entering the time of year when parties, family get-togethers, and excessive eating, drinking and merriment can create difficult or at least tricky situations for those in recovery. Thanksgiving in particular can be a challenging time. Family interaction is often expected and it may be the first family get-together in a while.
For a second I forgot that I am not running the show. Phew, what a relief! My house on Thanksgiving will be a house divided. About half the people showing up are happy, the other half horrified with the election results, mimicking the nation’s mood. This will be the first time this particular constellation of people will be together.
You might think of Halloween as the first holiday of many for the months to come. And perhaps you have friends and family members who find Halloween to be the first drinking holiday of the season. However, if you’re in recovery or at least striving to stay sober, then drinking or drug use is something you want to avoid.