If you’re a recovering addict—an alcoholic, especially—the holiday season is difficult to get through. Parties to bring in the holiday cheer are happening left and right, and that typically means alcohol is being served. The temptation to drink is present more than ever.
A great way to celebrate your sobriety is by throwing your own holiday event. Here are some tips on how to make your dry holiday party memorable:
Serve non-alcoholic cocktails
You can avert the desire for alcohol by serving cocktails with no alcohol content. Find a recipe that interests you, then make and serve it. Creating a fun drink will keep your guests happy and cheerful.
Invite others in recovery
Sharing the holidays with friends also in recovery will create a judgment-free feeling and make the party fun and carefree. They understand what you are going through and will be happy to have a place to go during the season.
Celebrate the holidays, but also celebrate your journey. Why not use this moment to pat yourself on the back for being on the right track? Remind yourself why you are on this journey by creating a fun sober theme celebrating your days in sobriety.
You will find that sometimes avoiding a social gathering will be difficult, if there is alcohol involved, follow these tips:
Find a friend
Pick a close companion you wholeheartedly trust. This friend should also make a vow not to drink during the party. Their responsibility is to supervise you the entire night and make sure you don’t make any poor decisions. They’ll watch what you do, where you go, what you drink, who you’re with, all to ensure you don’t make a choice you’ll later regret.
Fill your cup with anything but alcohol
Sometimes, you’ve got to fake it until you make it. While your guests can choose to drink whatever they’d like, you can fill your wine glass or cup with a non-alcoholic beverage—grape juice instead of wine, flavored water instead of vodka or gin. This will trick your mind and satisfy the craving without doing any harm.
Be the designated driver
By electing yourself the designated driver, you are now responsible for everyone that climbs into your car. This added sense of responsibility will give you the incentive you need to stay sober.
Keep conversation light
If you’re asked why you aren’t drinking and you don’t want to let anyone know you’re in recovery, make up something! Say you’re on antibiotics. Say you’ve got a stomachache and don’t want to upset it further. All people need to hear is one excuse and they’ll let it go, and you’re free to enjoy your party. By keeping conversation lighthearted, you are less likely to get upset and stay in good spirits.
If none of this sounds easy, if you feel the temptation is going to be too great, then don’t put yourself into the situation. If you know you’re going to want to drink at the party, despite these suggestions, just don’t go. Your recovery and comfort is far more important than any social gathering, and everyone will understand that.
* Kelly Cordovano is co-director of Fresh Start Ministries, a men’s rehabilitation center located in Central Florida. Along with her husband Joe, Kelly works with men who have taken the step to reach sobriety. With over 25 years of rehab teaching under her belt, she has seen people from all walks of life and is well versed in the experiences had by clients.
Fresh Start Ministries
Located in Orlando,Fla., Fresh Start Ministries of Central Florida, Inc. is a year-long, residential, faith-based substance abuse program for men. It provides affordable residential treatment for men recovering from life controlling problems, most typically substance abuse, through provision of transitional housing and comprehensive educational and support services. You can find more information by visiting www.freshstartministries.com.