New Year’s is just around the corner, and with it comes great expectations: parties, resolutions, kisses at midnight—and, of course, copious amounts of alcohol. It’s meant to be a celebration, of course, but for those struggling to maintain their sobriety, it can be an absolute nightmare. With everyone around you encouraging excess, how do you protect yourself and stay true to your ongoing commitment to a life free of chemical dependency? Is it possible to have a happy and sober New Year?
At First Step Center of Arizona, we know how difficult this time of year can be to those recovering from addiction. But we’re here to show you that the holidays and sobriety don’t need to be mutually exclusive. A sober New Year starts with a plan.
Make a Plan for a Sober New Year
The holidays come with a certain amount of tension built-in. You’re out of your routine at work or school. There’s shopping to be done, extra family hanging about, events to be attended and an almost-constant obligation to be of good cheer. Temptations abound. Even before New Year’s Eve rolls around, you may be feeling your resistance weakening. So what do you do?
Make a Plan
You know your sobriety will be tested. So plan for it. Add in an extra NA or AA meeting or two. Put another therapy appointment in the books. Schedule sober obligations throughout the entire holiday season to keep in regular touch with others who are in the same boat. Reach out to members of your support network–doctors, clinicians, group members, family, and friends—and let them know you may need extra help during this time of year. Be prepared.
Plan Your Own Party
Trying to stay sober at a New Year’s party is an exercise in futility. Drunkenness is the norm. Why put yourself in that situation? Instead, get a group of like-minded people from your support groups and create an alternative place to enjoy the evening.
Reduce Your Risks
You’ve been through the holidays before. Think about what it was like: What set you off? Where did you feel most vulnerable? Who caused you problems in the past? Identify as many triggers as you can—people, places, things, events—and avoid them.
Don’t Do it Alone
If you feel headed toward relapse, reach out immediately. Don’t wait. Have your support network on speed dial. Remove yourself from the situation. If there’s someone sympathetic to your situation nearby, ask for their help. Better yet, bring a sober buddy with you—someone who understands your issues and is prepared to do what it takes to keep you out of harm’s way. If you can’t find anyone, call a sober hotline or a treatment center before you jeopardize your sober New Year.
Contact First Step Center of Arizona
At First Step Center of Arizona, helping you maintain your sobriety is our main goal. If you or a loved one is having difficulty staying sober—or may need extra help for a sober New Year—please contact us at 866.832.6398.