A special holiday bonus blog from one of our Café RE members!
Holiday Survival Guide: Tips and Tricks
By: Adrienne (Café RE GO)
The holidays are coming and everyone is drinking….Sending out an SMS (Save My Sobriety)!!
We’ve all been there. The annual holidays set in and the only non-drinkers are you and the kids!
The question you may be asking yourself is…
How do I stay strong when the holiday vibe is booming and everyone is in party mode celebrating all that we have to be grateful for?”
To reframe this question I would ask…
How do I honor myself and my goals of sobriety in this time of annual appreciation for myself and my loved ones?”
Play the tape forward and then imagine yourself remembering the gathering; how do you want that to look or feel?
What tools will I bring with me to keep me accountable to the life I want to live? (The tools are different for everyone.)
For me, I bring my smartphone so I can stay close to my supports (Café RE peeps). I bring AF drinks (Athletic Brewing Co., Run Wild NA beer is a favorite). I bring an open mind. I’ve even brought my list of my why’s before tucked in a back pocket. And I bring an exit plan. The exit plan is my trap door and it’s a must. This could include me just leaving the party without saying I’m doing so, I may tell someone close to me that I’m out, or I may do the long goodbye; you know the one with all the hugging :).
What do I say if they offer me a drink or ask why I’m not drinking? There are several ways to come at this.
You can bring your own drinks, if it’s an AF beer odds are they won’t even notice that you aren’t actually drinking the poison (I’ve tested this one out). If offered a drink; “sure I’ll have a water”.
If further probing into why you aren’t drinking stick to the facts. You could say your not drinking anymore, you could say you are driving, you could say you aren’t drinking tonight. The secret to this scenario is you are more invested in what’s going on with your path than they are. Most people don’t really want the laundry list of your alcohol history. They want to know, are you in or are you out. Odds are they won’t even care what your ingesting once they are in the haze.
If things get awkward change the subject, use the bathroom to regroup, put your needs first, and if all else fails…trap door my friend.
Buuuuut….What if they think I’m boring?. First, who are they specifically? Is there really a they or is it just your inner dialogue trying to sabotage you with old thought patterns?
Listen….YOU ARE NOT BORING! You are your beautiful, authentic, one and only self! Sober life is anything but boring.
Buuuuut…What if they think I’m judging them or they are bummed I won’t drink with them?
Oh that’s right, the people pleasing!
I know it well friends. If I do the thing they want then they will like me, think I’m cool, and/or want to hang out with me.
Maybe that’s all true, but is it worth compromising your own comfort for theirs?
In the moment this may be uncomfortable but I’m asking you to stay with it. Exposure to our fears/triggers and staying the course is important field work to success. Every time you overcome a situation with your own tools for change and growth you get stronger! Each time you succeed you are gaining experience to draw from that proves that you can navigate life and socialize sober! You learn who is an ally in your life, who to put your energy toward, and who you want to develop relationships with.
On this holiday season my wish for you is that you put your needs first, protect your sobriety, be gentle with yourself, and please listen and honor yourself. I hope you find all the joy that exists with your family and friends