Holiday Survival Guide for Recovering Alcoholics

Holiday Survival Guide for Recovering Alcoholics


The holidays are upon us and I wish each of you a safe journey through them. Thank you all for reading at the Spiritual River. Let’s all have a good holiday season!The holiday season brings holiday parties. And that usually means booze.

Holiday Survival Guide for Recovering Alcoholics
Photo by antigone78

This can be a dangerous time for recovering alcoholics. There are family gatherings, parties at work, and all sorts of obligations that we’re expected to attend where others might be drinking. Plus, the added stress of the holiday season can be enough to overwhelm just about anyone. Here are ten tips to help you through the holiday season:

1. Use the Buddy System – Going to a holiday party where there is drinking? Take another recovering alcoholic with you. Strength in numbers.

2. Just Say No to Situations You Can’t Handle – Got a holiday party where drinking is involved? You can always just say no to going altogether. Your sobriety is number one.

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3. Have an Escape Route – Maybe you’re going to the party where drinking is involved, but you want to have the ability to leave quickly if you get nervous. Have an excuse ready for this. Don’t feel bad about bailing out with a phony excuse–we are talking about potentially saving your life here!

4. Volunteer – Get out of your self and help others. Chair an AA meeting, offer to help clean up, and so on. Always useful for feeling good about yourself.

5. Make Time to Relax – Give yourself a break. Meditate. Take that hot bath. Whatever you can do to cool your jets for awhile. Make the time for yourself. No excuses. Put your sanity first.

relax in hot bath
Photo by Gallery 435

6. Avoid Last-Minute Christmas Shopping – Why let this become an added mountain of stress and anxiety? Get it done early. The stores and malls are a zoo as you get closer to Christmas. Just more stress that you don’t need.

7. Keep the Focus on Gratitude – Ever had a lousy holiday back when you were still drinking? Me too. Be thankful for your current situation. It’s a million times better now that you’re sober.

8. Step it Up – If you network with others in recovery, (such as through the AA fellowship) then step it up over the holidays. Go to more meetings, plan activities with others in recovery, and generally reach out more to others – both to give help and to receive it.

9. Find an Alk-a-thon – These are held at AA clubs on holidays (particularly Christmas and New Years) and are basically an all day gathering for recovering people. There is always a ton of food, non-stop meetings, and sober companionship.

Recoverng alcoholics party
Photo by ROtron

10. Help Others – This is the big one, the cure-all for anything that ails you. For the recovering alcoholic, working with others can be a huge relief from self obsession. Plus, it’s in the spirit of the season.

Everyone have a safe and happy holiday!


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