The holiday season can be a challenging time for those in recovery. The festivities, social gatherings, and general merriment can be triggering. It seems like everyone is drinking and every tv ad is for beer or wine.
However, with the right tools and support, it's possible to maintain sobriety during the holidays.
One of the most effective ways to stay sober during this season is to attend 12-step meetings regularly. I make at least 4-5 meetings a week. Early in sobriety I would double-up meetings especially around the holidays. These meetings provide a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, strength, and hope with others who are going through similar struggles. In addition, 12-step programs offer a set of principles and practices that can help individuals stay sober and maintain spiritual growth.
Meeting makers make it. The holidays are hard and going to meetings help a lot. Believe me - I know of a woman who "went out" (lost sobriety) over drinking vanilla extract while baking Christmas cookies. It took her several months to get back to meetings and become sober.
Another important aspect of staying sober during the holidays is seeking professional therapy. A trained therapist can help you navigate the various challenges and triggers that may pop-up during this emotional season. Therapy can also provide coping skills, stress-management techniques, and other tools to help you stay on track and stay away from alcohol (or other mind altering substances).
And don't forget transformational coaching. Transformational coaching gets to the root of your behavior by examing your underlying thoughts affecting your emotions and behavior. This understanding - first found in the 4th step and then deepened with transformational training keeps me living a happy and sober life. I'm emotionally sober because I've transformed.
Ultimately, staying sober during the holidays requires a combination of self-care, support, and dedication to your recovery. By staying mindful, setting healthy boundaries, and seeking help when needed, individuals can successfully navigate the holiday season while maintaining your sobriety.