How to Make it Through Your Sober Thanksgiving
All holidays are a time for great joy, and Thanksgiving is not the exception. Family members and friends get together and cook, watch football, share traditions that have been passed down for generations, and express blessings for the coming year. However, for those who are in recovery, the holidays can be stressful and can pose serious challenges to sobriety and sanity.
So how do people stay sober during holidays combining financial stress, family drama, and plenty of temptation to live in excess? Here are a few tips to help get through the sober holidays.
- Be honest with yourself and with people around.
Everyone knows the old saying: “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.” That’s why, you can let go of toxic friendships after getting sober, but you might not have been able to cut out all family members. If you meet them during the holidays, the best thing to do is just acknowledge yourself that not everyone is going to understand your reasons for going sober and that’s okay. Hopefully, you meet them just one time of the year and it’s not worth it to throw yourself into emotional turmoil trying to make someone happy. You just keep doing what’s right for you. If you feel very uncomfortable about a family dinner, don’t go then. Recovery needs to be the main priority.
- Mentally prepare for the questions.
During Thanksgiving dinner, your friends and family will probably ask different questions about your sobriety including borderline offensive. Stay calm, most people are just curious or questioning their own drinking habits. That’s why set boundaries early. If you don’t want to answer the questions, have the phrase “Let’s just celebrate the holidays and not talk about that right now”. Otherwise, be honest and respectful, especially for your own sake.
- Stay stress free.
Never ignore the extra stress the holidays bring. For the addicted person, more stress means more vulnerability. If you feel scared or unsafe, reach out for help. Most addiction recovery agencies, treatment centers, and domestic violence resources increase efforts during the holidays. You aren’t alone, and you don’t have to feel unsafe. Call a local treatment center like Hathaway Recovery.
- Offer to help to keep yourself busy.
One way to keep yourself entertained and busy during any family gatherings is to offer to help to set up the table, load the dishwasher, or take care of the little kids. It feels really good staying occupied. Helping out keeps the hands busy and let’s avoid just sitting around and watching the family drink.
- Plan for your exit strategy.
Dealing with family over the holidays is not easy. So, you need to have not only a backup plan but also have an exit strategy. Plan the time to leave. This means for example “stay no longer than 11 p.m.” or “leave right after finishing dinner.” Make sure you know you have a safe way to get home. Make sure that you have transportation so that you can leave at any time. If you do not have a car, make sure that you have access to Uber or Lyft, or that you have enough money to pay for a cab.
- Try to be thankful.
Your family is always your family. These people care about you. You’re sharing food, a roof over your head, clean water, and clothes on your back. Don’t just “give thanks” because a calendar day says so. The success of our sobriety depends on the extent of our gratitude. Being grateful keeps us humble and hopeful. Give thanks with a grateful heart for your sobriety. Try to keep the focus on that.
You will have to get through many issues during your process of recovery. Think of your first sober Thanksgiving as an opportunity to create new traditions and positive memories. Find more tips to successfully navigate the rest of the holiday season and afterward. And don’t forget, if something goes wrong, you can always contact Hathaway Recovery to get professional help.
Hathaway Recovery is an industry leader in Addiction & Dual Diagnosis Treatment. A doctor-operated facility that offers 24/7 care, monitoring & support. Hathaway Recovery is staffed with a team of professionals who are highly trained and constantly strive to offer the most innovative and effective care and therapy.
Contact Hathaway Recovery for teenage addiction treatment options today.