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How do YOU handle the holidays???

Old 11-11-2009, 07:20 AM
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Question How do YOU handle the holidays???

The holidays are fast approaching and all of a sudden... heavy on my mind. I was never really good at them anyway, but now that I am trying to be good so-to-speak, I sense the challenge will increase dramatically.

How do you guys intend to deal with it all? What is your plan?

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Old 11-11-2009, 07:25 AM
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My plan is to remain sober. Helps if you work the program. And, there are always meetings to attend, AA is one of the few organizations I know of that doesn't suspend meetings due to the holidays.

If you're having a difficult time during a holiday gathering, you could always leave and go to a meeting.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:05 AM
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Vicious,

I recovered by having a spiritual awakening as the result of taking AA's 12 steps and continuing to practice the principles of those steps. I've been through many holiday seasons without the fear of a drink.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:15 AM
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When I was a kid, the holidays were all about me. Santa Clause, presents under the tree.... When I was an adult and still active, they were still all about me. Parties, beer, wine, cocktails.... a full access pass.

Last year, my first sober holiday season, unfortunately, they were still about me... I was so early in my recovery, how would I do them sober? Self pity, ....all that.

This year, they are not about me... They are about my wonderful wife and kids and I will search for ways to make them better... for those people whom I love.

VC... try to lose yourself and make others the focus of your holidays. You don't matter, they do...

Hope that came out right... I hope that you and everyone here can be a meaningful part of mine and everyone's holiday season.

Mark
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:46 AM
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In the early days, I stayed away from people who were drinking alcohol. I had to.

Now, I probably choose to go out less than I used to. I have accepted that I am not a very social person.

Focus on your recovery ande you can get through this.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:49 AM
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Like I said in the August post. Tell yourself every morning when you get up "I will NOT drink today" and if you do that every day, you won't. One day at a time. The Holiday's don't have to be any different than any other day of your sobriety if you don't let them be.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:58 AM
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VC-

This is what worked for me last year. I had so much pity for myself because I still had to have Christmas eve and Christmas day at my house where people would be drinking. If I heard a Christmas song I would immediately start crying. Well I told myself it was only for that Christmas and the weight was lifted. Surely I could go one Christmas without a glass of wine. I just told myself if I really wanted one maybe next year I could have one. It totally got me through the holidays. This year I'm alot better but will probably at some point have to tell myself the same thing. I think it is when we start to think about never is when we get upset. Good luck and I think it is a plus that we think about what we are going to do before hand. Having a plan is a big part of this recovery.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:31 AM
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try to lose yourself and make others the focus of your holidays. You don't matter, they do...
That's kinda what I was starting to think about.....a great angle.

I think it is when we start to think about never is when we get upset.
I think that is so true......

Thanks for the ideas......I do appreciate.......I just want to be proactive this year.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:31 AM
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I sometimes think opposing experiences are useful to the newcomer.

Originally Posted by bdiddy5522 View Post
Tell yourself every morning when you get up "I will NOT drink today" and if you do that every day, you won't.
My experience with doing exactly that led me to not drinking for a couple of months, followed by a still worse relapse, followed by IOP, followed by rehab, followed by AA with no step work, followed by finally surrendering to the simple program of recovery, followed by being recovered.

My experience tells me that the in-between steps are best left out if one wants to avoid the wreckage of failed attempts.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:34 AM
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Hi VC,

What's working for me is "one day at a time". That's for today. If I keep working my recovery "one day at a time", then the holidays should be just fine.

Virgin eggnog all around, lol.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:29 AM
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This year, they are not about me... They are about my wonderful wife and kids and I will search for ways to make them better... for those people whom I love.
well mark i make you just about right.
ive taken enough christmas holiday from my wife.
me.........im hoping to work back at the shelter....god willing..
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:34 AM
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VC-great suggestions everyone has shared with you.

About doing for others, you can volunteer at a soup kitchen, or the Salvation Army
also. That type of service really gets us out of ourselves.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:46 AM
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Years ago I had a sponsor tell me: Jules, the day after the 25th is the 26th. It is only a day, one day. I have Used that as my "mantra" for many holidays. Like all the little sayings in the program they work for me because they are so simple and easy to remember when I need them.
I also have spent many holidays in AA meeting halls with my "chosen family." I have excused myself from home for an hour to get in a better space and prevent me from becoming homicidal.
I have to work every year on having no expectations. The Holidays have never turned out to be what my mind thinks they should be. Some have been better then any expectation because I have stepped out of the "directors chair."
Any Holiday that ends with me being sober is truly a great holiday.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:06 PM
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One day at a time
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:21 PM
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The Holidays have never turned out to be what my mind thinks they should be. Some have been better then any expectation because I have stepped out of the "directors chair."
Nicely put.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bdiddy5522 View Post
Like I said in the August post. Tell yourself every morning when you get up "I will NOT drink today" and if you do that every day, you won't. One day at a time. The Holiday's don't have to be any different than any other day of your sobriety if you don't let them be.
well - this has worked for me now for nearly three years...

I never lose sight of the fact it's not enough simply to tell myself I will not drink tho....I keep working at it...some days I've *really* had to work at my commitment. I think that's the same for all of us, really.

Like Anna, I'm far less social than I used to be, and I'm happy like this - for me socialising = drinking anyway.

You'll find a lot of support here over the holidays
D
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:25 AM
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Last year around mid December I got sober and stayed that way through the beginning of March before I blew it for about 2.5 weeks (I'm grateful I got back on track rather quickly). I made it through the holidays and the Super Bowl sober. I avoided being around people who were drinking...that was the only way I could do it. I think I'll be able to handle family functions this year. I doubt anyone will notice I'm not drinking.

Hang in there, VC. Easier said than done. If certain functions are unavoidable, find sober people to talk to.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:28 AM
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Why not begin your own sober positive holiday traditions?
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:53 AM
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I love the holidays. This isn't something I would ever share in a meeting, but I like them because I get to laugh at all of my alkie family members as they make fools of themselves. (Internally, of course.) I love my family, but Lord they are an alcoholic bunch!

I also love the holidays because I get to spend quality time with my family. They are no longer keeping me away from the egg nog, the wintery mix treats, etc. Can't wait for Turkey Day!
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:28 AM
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Im getting a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. I don't see why we Brits have to miss out on the lovely dinners
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