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Staying Sober Through Christmas

Staying Sober Through Christmas

The holiday season can be an extremely challenging time for individuals in substance abuse or addiction recovery.

Christmas falls right in the middle of the holiday season, and is no exception. Old memories of Christmas pasts can fog up an individual’s choice to remain sober, as he or she may remember all of the good sides of drinking and forget the all the reasons he or she stopped. It is essential for a person to take time and remember all of the reasons he or she got sober in the first place. There are a number of ways an individual can help to support him or herself through the holiday season and remain sober. Below are several tips as to how to get through Christmas, sober and enjoy it as much as possible.

Plan Ahead

It can be very helpful to plan ahead in regards to maintaining a sober Christmas. Old habits and patterns can resurface and it is important to make sure to have coping mechanisms and a support system in place so as to not act on them. Think about the possible triggers that may arise and do your best to avoid them during Christmas.

Exit Strategy

It may sound silly, but making sure you have an easy exit strategy can alleviate a lot of pressure. Often times a significant amount of anxiety can surround an exit plan. People will spend a lot of time thinking about how to make an escape that will not draw too much attention, and it can be all consuming. Making sure you are able to leave a Christmas gathering or function easily can help you have peace of mind, and allow you to stay present at your event.

New Traditions

The holidays, including Christmas, are a time that people rely heavily on tradition. This can be a perfect opportunity for you to create new, healthy, sober traditions for you and your loved ones. Perhaps this can be a time that you reflect on all of your reasons for becoming sober. Maybe you could identify a list of the positive moments that have come about in your life since you became sober. Whatever you decide, it is important that your new tradition is meaningful to you, and that it is something you feel you could continue in years to come.

Ask For Help

If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to avoid triggers, feel uncomfortable, or are on the verge of using drugs or alcohol, stop yourself, take a moment, and ask for help. If you do not know who to turn to ask for help, find a substance abuse or addiction support group meeting to go to. There are an abundance of addiction support group meetings held all over the United States. Going to a support group meeting can help recalibrate you and can help you avoid a relapse.

Remember, that nothing is perfect. Even with all of the above tips, your Christmas may still be very challenging and not as enjoyable as you may have hoped.

Much like substance abuse and addiction recovery, everything takes time. Be kind to yourself, and know that even with all of the pressures of it being a special holiday, it is only once a year and does not last very long. You can get through this. Whether or not it is a fantastic experience, or a less than ideal one, give yourself the chance to experience it as your sober, authentic self. This will help future Christmas holidays and will also help you to be able to look back and feel proud of yourself and your choices.

Further Information

Relapse is a part of addiction, so if this happens to occur, remember that you have never moved too far away from your sobriety to pick it up again. Every individual seeking substance abuse or addiction treatment must select a program that will be suit his or her needs throughout this life changing experience. Substance abuse and addiction are all consuming, and if left untreated can result in extremely difficult long term consequences, and in some cases death. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, please get help as soon as possible. There is no reason to go through this alone. Please feel free to reach out to us for further information or with any questions regarding substance abuse or addiction. We are available anytime via telephone at: 213-389-9964, or you can always email us at:

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