Will this be your first sober Thanksgiving? Don’t dread it. You can maintain the sobriety you’ve worked so hard for and still have a great time with family and friends. Of course, anything new can be a little scary, but you might discover that you like the holidays better this way. So, if you are nervous about potential triggers or pushy people who will try to make you drink, here are a few tips for getting through it all. You can enjoy Thanksgiving without alcohol.
Start a New Tradition, Thanksgiving Without Alcohol
You know your family and their holiday traditions, so if you’re expecting alcohol to flow, plan ahead. Bring along your own non-alcoholic beverages. If someone keeps pushing you to take a drink, tell them you’re starting a new, sober tradition. Or, tell them you have given up drinking for health reasons and walk away if necessary.
Don’t Expect the Expected
Most families have their own brand of drama that surfaces when they get together for the holidays. If your family is known for being difficult or dysfunctional during holiday events try not to expect that this day will be the same. If you anticipate things to go wrong, you’ll only succeed in stressing yourself and this can cause a relapse. Find positive aspects of the day to focus on that are enjoyable for you.
Take a Sober Friend for Support
If you’re worried that you will be the only non-drinking person at the festivities, take a sober friend with you. This is a great way to take some of the pressure off of you. It’s normal to want to be one of the crowd. But, “just one drink” is not worth the damage it can do to you at this point in your recovery.
Have Your Own Transportation
Many Thanksgiving celebrations last long into the evening. As people continue drinking, the temptation to join them can be overwhelming. If you have your own transportation, you can opt to leave when you think the party is becoming a trigger for you.
Attend a Support Meeting Before the Holidays
Attending a support meeting before the holiday event is a great way to boost your determination to stay sober. Some people attend a meeting before the event and immediately afterward to keep themselves in the recovery mindset. Also, the meetings are a great way to be around other people who are planning to enjoy Thanksgiving without alcohol.
Remember, It’s Only One Day
When you were in rehab, you learned how to deal with triggers and avoid tempting situations. In today’s world, those situations are around every corner. You will be challenged more times than you can count. During the holidays, take it one day at a time and remember, it’s only one day. Get through it sober, and you’ll get stronger each time.
Don’t Set Yourself Up for Having a Miserable Time
You don’t want to arrive at the family dinner feeling out of place or always on guard. This is a day to give thanks and have fun, so begin by giving yourself a big pat on the back for getting sober. At the end of the day, you can give yourself another pat for spending Thanksgiving without alcohol.
Your sobriety is in your hands. Rehab gave you the tools to help you navigate through the temptations. Take the tools out and use them to protect what you have worked so hard to attain. Now relax, and go enjoy your sober Thanksgiving.