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Old 11-10-2017, 05:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thanksgiving and Xmas Survival Guide vers 2.0


This thread is a few years old now but I've had to archive some pages no longer on the web and updated some links.

I hope you guys will agree there's some great info here on surviving Thanksgiving-Christmas-NewYears and other social occasions with our recovery intact.

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...val-guide.html (Social Occasion Survival Guide)

Make a plan - now....cover all the likely scenarios and what you can do in response...and have an escape plan too

I know there's a lot here to take in but maybe it will come in handy

Feel free to add your own ideas.

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Old 11-10-2017, 05:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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how to refuse a drink

what you can say...
  • no thanks, i'm not drinking.
  • i don't need it. I am ok without it.
  • there's no way i want a hangover. I've got things i want to do tomorrow.
  • actually, i feel like a soft drink.
  • no, i'm on some medication and i'm not meant to drink any alcohol with it.
  • i've had enough, it's really important to win tomorrow's game, so i dont want to risk feeling sick.
  • i dont feel like drinking any more, i feel really bloated.
  • i've been a bit sick the last couple of days, so i don't
    feel like it.
  • i get kind of aggro when i drink a lot. It's not pretty.

from NSW Dept Education 'myreality'

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Old 11-10-2017, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
not everyone will appreciate you giving up alcohol...and you might face some extreme peer pressure... To "just have one".

While at first glance it might seem easier to cave in, there are plenty of ways to refuse that drink.

Most people will understand why you're abstaining if you explain it, but there's always one who will try and press a vodka soda or whiskey on the rocks into your hand.

You could always get the bartender to make you a virgin cocktail. Tell those non-supporters there's rum in your coke – they won't know it's alcohol-free.

If the pressure gets too much, use humour to diffuse the situation. Most people will appreciate the funny side and back off.

Next time you want to refuse a drink at a party or at a bar try one of these lines and the punters should leave you alone.

– i took a shark bite to the knee and am on antibiotics, so i can't drink.

– sorry, i'm donating blood plasma to needy children.

– i've got to be sober in case gotham needs me.

– i'm training for the olympics. (when they ask what sport you're doing, of course divulge that it's synchronised swimming!)

– i'm doing an ultra marathon at 4 a.m. Tomorrow.

– sorry, my parole officer said i can't drink.

– no thanks, i'm high on life.

– chuck norris doesn't need whiskey to be a legend and neither do i.

– for all i do, i don't need a brew.

– flash a card from your wallet and say its a license to not drink.

Of course, don't forget your real reasons.

Reminding yourself of this should strengthen your resolve. After all, going alcohol-free... Doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good night out.

From FebFast.org.au
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Building your drink refusal skills

https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa...al-Skills.aspx
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Old 11-10-2017, 05:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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tips to support recovery during the holidays

holidays can be stressful for anyone, particularly for those in recovery. Besides the temptations to party hearty that seem to be everywhere, there are also the feelings of depression and being left out to contend with. Don’t let the holidays get you down or cause you to slip. Here are some tips to support recovery during the holidays.

tip #1: Be sure to get enough rest.
– let’s face it. When you’re tired, you’re more apt to make snap judgments that may turn out to be wrong, say something you wish you hadn’t, or find yourself entertaining thoughts of giving into the temptation to drink or do drugs. While being well rested can’t guarantee that these situations won’t occur, it’s far less likely.

Why is that? In the big book of alcoholics anonymous, newcomers are encouraged to avoid “halt.” that means you should never allow yourself to get hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. Well, fatigue certainly plays a huge part in what causes many people to succumb to temptation – during the holidays and anytime. When you’re tired, your brain gets lazy. You find yourself making excuses or doing what seems easiest. It’s hard to fight off cravings if you have no resources left. It’s much simpler to just give in.

Do yourself a solid and be sure to get adequate rest each night. This applies all the time, of course, but especially during the holidays. Never permit yourself to burn the candle at both ends. You can’t have stay up for hours on end – wrapping christmas presents or celebrating the fireworks display – and be in tip-top shape for whatever responsibilities you have on the morrow. And, you won’t be much good at making the right decisions, either.

How much rest is enough? Generally speaking, adults should get a good 8 to 9 hours of rest each night. While some people pride themselves on getting by with 5 hours or less, they’re only depriving their bodies and their minds of what they really need. It also helps to be consistent with you sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning. This establishes your body’s natural rhythms – and also helps you be alert and ready to go each day.

tip #2: Be selective about what invitations you accept.
– depending on what time of year it is, you can expect to receive numerous invitations to parties and get-togethers. This is particularly true during the period from thanksgiving through new year’s. In some areas of the country, the calendar date that results in the most drinking and driving arrests is halloween. Other big holidays for drinking include the fourth of july and labor day.

You might think that mother’s day and father’s day – while not holidays in the sense that you get time off from work – would be safe. That all depends on what kind of family dynamic you have present. If your family members are big drinkers or have other addictions, it stands to reason that you may wish to steer clear of celebrations on those days.
What it all boils down to is that you should exercise discretion. Be selective – in fact, be very selective – about what invitations you accept. There’s just no sense putting your sobriety in jeopardy by going to places where people are drinking and/or doing drugs.

If, however, an invitation can’t be discreetly turned down, such as a company dinner or event, you might be okay if you pay attention to tip #3.

tip #3: What’s in your glass only matters to you. – when everyone around you is having a good time, drinking cocktails or champagne or beer, do you really think it matters what you have the bartender pour in your glass? Chances are it only matters to you. The man or woman next to you is only interested in getting his or her own drink. So, if you ask for sparkling water or tonic with lime, it’s your business and no one else’s.

If you’re with family or close friends and someone wants to fill your glass for a toast, it helps if you prepare the host ahead of time to have your glass filled with a non-alcoholic drink. If red wine is the toast beverage, you can have your glass filled with cranberry juice. If it’s champagne, make yours ginger ale or seven up. Remember that others will only notice or pay attention to a situation where a big deal is made of it. So, if you handle this ahead of time, no one’s the wiser. Everyone else is just caught up in the celebration of the moment. With this tip, you can join in and still be true to your recovery goals.

tip #4: Have back-up plans ready. – it’s amazing how a simple tip can make all the difference. If you’re prepared with a reasonable response when you’re at a party and getting ready to leave and someone asks you to stay, it’s not only less stressful, it’s also essential. You’ve got an easy out, no one’s feelings are hurt, and you’ve been true to your sobriety.
Here’s how it works. You always have something that needs to be done. Holidays are no exception. Your response could be that you have to run an errand for your spouse or mother or you have an appointment you can’t miss. Maybe you need to pick up your children or get to the bank before it closes or buy supplies for work. What you say isn’t important. What is important is that you prepare what you’ll say in advance and stick to it. Don’t allow someone to convince you to stay just a little longer. Your time is your own. You don’t owe it to anyone else.

Laugh off objections, if that makes it any easier for you. Your friends or the party’s host will get over it. And you’ll be on your way without getting yourself in harm’s way.

tip #5: Go late and leave early. – here’s another tip that may work for you. It’s simple, really. Just go as late as you can to the party without being irresponsible and leave well before the party’s end. What you’re doing, in effect, is putting in an appearance. That’s all that matters to most hosts anyway. You’ve been invited. You show up, talk to a few folks, and leave. End of story.

As for the others at the party or get-together, they’re too busy chatting up friends and family members to notice how long you’re in attendance. And if someone does tap your arm and ask why you’re leaving, give them the response you prepared in advance (see tip #4).

tip #6: Spend your time with fellow 12-step members. [orpr others in recovery] – who understands the impact of the holidays on sobriety better than your fellow 12-step members? And, what better place to be than at a 12-step meeting when you feel the pressures of the holiday season? The truth is that those in recovery aren’t any more immune to depression and loneliness than someone who’s never had a problem with alcohol. Thousands of people of all ages are alone or infirm or depressed during the period from thanksgiving to new year’s, or around birthdays of now-deceased relatives or friends. But the difference is that you, since you are in recovery, have an automatic support network in your 12-step sponsor and group members.

Besides the fellowship and support, you’ve got someplace legitimate to go during the holidays. You don’t have to stress yourself about what to do or say. Your group members know what it feels like to be somewhat out of place – especially when you’re new to recovery. And you’ll get lots of ideas on how to handle different situations by listening to others share during the meetings.

Many 12-step groups may hold special get-togethers during certain holidays. This provides convivial atmosphere and a sober way to celebrate special occasions.

tip #7: Give thanks for your sober days. – it may help to think about the number of days or weeks or months you’ve been sober. Just counting up the days can afford a measure of comfort and peace. This is a big achievement, and one that you’ve worked hard for. Sometimes, just taking the time to give thanks for all this time you’ve been sober in recovery is enough to keep you firmly on your path.

tip #8: If you feel you might stumble, call your sponsor.[or your support network] – this tip applies anytime of the year. Day or night, if you feel like you’re in trouble and may slip, get in touch with your 12-step sponsor. Don’t delay. Don’t tough it out. Don’t give yourself an excuse to do something to jeopardize your sobriety.

After all, that’s what your sponsor signed on for when he or she agreed to be your sponsor. If not to help you discover your true strengths, to be supportive of your efforts to stay clean and sober, to listen in a nonjudgmental manner and with compassion, to offer helpful advice – what else is your sponsor for?

Of course, it goes without saying that you should choose your 12-step sponsor carefully. Be sure that the person you ask to sponsor you has been in successful recovery for at least one year. The more time a sponsor has in recovery, the more you look up to and admire the person’s words and deeds, the way he or she is always there when you’re in need, the more beneficial this person can be to you if you have a problem during the holidays.

One thing to remember is that you’re not putting your sponsor out by calling. The relationship you have with your sponsor is a special one. You both are committed to your sobriety.

tip #9: Keep busy. – when you were in treatment and before you completed your program, one of the important parts was relapse prevention. This is where you learned about the importance of keeping yourself busy, of creating and maintaining schedules and adhering to a healthier routine. During the holidays, it’s especially helpful to have a list of things that you can get involved in or do so that your mind isn’t left to wonder about all the activities you’re missing out on.

Tackle a project you’ve been putting off. Invite some friends over for an intimate dinner at your home. Go out and enjoy a movie or a concert. You can also volunteer to help at any number of worthwhile organizations or charities. Do something nice for your neighbor or someone at work who’s been ill.

Sit down with a paper and pen and make a list of things you’d like to do, want to do, and have the time to do. You can prioritize them or do what is the quickest and easiest to get involved in right now. Once you’re done with that, move on to the next one. If this doesn’t get you through any qualms about being true to your recovery, then get yourself to a 12-step meeting and find support there.

tip #10: Take time to enrich your spirit. – material considerations often take center stage in people’s minds when it comes to the holidays. It doesn’t matter what holiday it is, there always seems to be a furious burst of activity around getting ready for the day, being involved on the day, and cleaning up after the day. What often gets left out completely is attention to the spiritual aspect of the holiday.

Christmas is the most obvious time when paying attention to spirituality would seem to matter most. But it’s certainly not the only time. Easter is another, as well as thanksgiving. In fact, when you get right down to it, any holiday is a good time to think more about your spirituality than all the material trappings associated with the day.

How do you enrich your spirit? There’s no single way. What works for you may not be the same as what proves most effective for the next person. You may believe in god or a higher power or the power of the spirit or nature. Maybe you go to a church or a synagogue or commune with nature by meditating in the woods or by a pond or lake or stream. Some people get in touch with their spirituality and feel a sense of enrichment by doing yoga.

You can also just close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing in and out, and wipe your mind of all extraneous thoughts. Picture a peaceful scene and continue to breathe in and out deeply and regularly. Do this for about 15 to 20 minutes. You will feel refreshed and renewed afterward. What you are doing, in essence, is centering yourself, freeing yourself from stresses and distractions. You are bringing yourself back into balance: Body, mind, and spirit.

Have a healthy happy holiday

after you’ve been in successful recovery for a few years, you’ll look back on your early days and see how much you’ve grown. You’ll likely be amazed at how much easier it is now to overcome holiday stresses and temptations than it was back then. This is due to your diligence in working your steps, being involved in your support network, constantly refining your recovery plan and taking the necessary actions to achieve your goals. You will know who to turn to when you have a problem, and how to celebrate with sober friends to have a healthy and happy holiday.

Most of all, you’ll then be in a position to be able to offer the same type of support to someone new to recovery, someone who, like you a while back, needs the encouragement and strength that only someone in solid recovery can give. At that point, you’ll really know the importance of support during the holidays. You’ll know because you’re doing it.

From promises.com
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The joy of a sober Christmas | The Independent

Quote:
Party checklist: Staying off the sauce

* If you decide to go out, make sure that you don't get stuck somewhere where you're dependent on others to get home; and ensure that you have the means/money to get home or to a place where you feel comfortable.

* Avoid gatherings where you know that you'll be the only non-drinker, or where people will be drinking excessively. If you do go, consider limiting your time and promise yourself that you will leave if you feel uncomfortable.

* If you feel happy to do so, let people know that you don't drink any more.


* If you're at a party, keep an eye on your glass and make sure that it doesn't get mixed up with someone else's, or topped up when you're not looking.


* Make sure that you know what support is available (voluntary/statutory agencies, Alcoholics Anonymous etc) over Christmas.

* Gather together a list of friends/family/support contacts that you can rely on for support, should you find yourself needing it.
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Courtesy of AppleKat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Applekat View Post
I just listened to the beginning of Recovery Elevator Podcast 91 and he reviewed his steps to staying sober through the holidays. I wanted to copy/paste because I really enjoyed many of them! The notes are mostly his and a few of mine as well.

12 Ways to Stay Sober Through the Holidays:

1. Meditation – It doesn't just have to be sitting in silence with yourself, either. All of the following activities have a meditative and creative quality; guitar, piano, painting, woodwork, organizing, stuffing envelopes, whatever it is for you. Set a time and chill-out for 10 minutes. Use the "Headspace App."

2. Water – Hydrate! First thing I do in the morning is drink about 35 oz of lemon water. Sounds like a lot but many people wake up and immediately have coffee. Try water!

3. Give yourself a Hall Pass! I planned on eating 70% of the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving Dinner this year.

4. Exercise for 10 min during the first hour of the day. Stretch, do band work, and pushups. Studies show those who exercise even a little at the start of the day feel better, and sleep better that night.

5. Practice visualization. I practice saying no to drinks and practice making good decisions in my sobriety. Actually picture yourself/your response to the inevitable offer of drinks.

6. Tell someone no and put yourself first. Be selfish in some of those decisions. Skip the partner's holiday party.

7. Shovel snow or push dirt around. Think, “Service, service, service.” The best way to get yourself out of a funky mindset is to help someone else. Shovel your neighbors driveway. Post on a newcomer's post.

8. Talk to yourself. "Grab the mic." Cheer yourself on, boost yourself up. While driving, give yourself a pep talk. It's like having your own Tony Robbins inside your head.

9. Start doing something small and then in two years tell me how much of a difference that has made in your life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Put $50 in a savings account and watch it build (drinking money!).

10. Be the turtle and not the hare. I’m playing the long game. Stop going for instant gratification and realize your choices are for bettering your future.

11. Connect with your Community daily – whatever that may be. SR, AA, Community RE.

12. Share. Share how you're doing it. Share your goodies. Share your gadgets. Sharing is caring.
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Old 11-10-2017, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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how to stop the relapse grinch from stealing your holiday spirit
by toshia humphries

the holiday season is upon us, and many of us may find ourselves dealing with family drama and dysfunction, financial stress, and temptations and opportunities to use or drink. For those who are new to recovery, this time of year can be especially challenging. Just like the grinch that stole christmas, the potential for relapse also threatens to steal the true spirit of the holidays and more. Relapse usually begins with victimizing and irrational thoughts and the holiday season has a tendency to surface and sensationalize them.

In order to prepare ourselves, it is important to know how to prevent relapse thinking and behavior during the holidays. Here are 5 tips on how to maintain both sanity and serenity and prevent the relapse grinch from stealing your holiday spirit.

1. Stay connected.

many people travel during the holidays, take time off work, spend days with family, leave the university for weeks at a time and become otherwise unavailable. As such, those who are struggling during the holidays often feel very alone.

Additionally, much of holiday festivities involve social gatherings and parties stocked with alcohol. For those in early recovery, this can be especially challenging. Relapse thinking often kicks in at this time and tells us that “one drink to celebrate the holidays with family and friends won’t hurt.” of course, this cannot be more wrong.

That is why it is especially important to stay connected to a recovery community, sponsor, and/or counselor during the holiday season. Creating events like friendsgiving—a gathering for friends during the traditional november holiday of thanksgiving—and other holiday-inspired, community-oriented festivities is one way to help you stay connected to sober friends. It can also keep the spirit of togetherness alive for those without or unable to be with family.

2. See the magic.

most people will agree that children seem to truly enjoy the holiday season more than anyone. They simply see the magic in it all. This is a gift that, as adults, we seem to lose as we move along life’s journey. Issues with family, grief, and time spent in active addiction can all chip away at the magic. Of course, this is only if we allow it.

Magic is never gone from our lives. It’s always there, and the holiday season is the best time to attempt to reclaim it. Looking to children for the “how to” is one of the best ways. Just observe them lining up to sit on santa’s lap (or better yet, stand in line with them), watch classic children’s holiday movies, or attend a holiday storybook reading to see and feel the magic of the holidays and life itself.

3. Heal the past.

the holiday season has an uncanny way of surfacing unresolved issues, especially those that have to do with family. It could be that for some, there’s no better time than the holidays to start working on these issues. Whether with a counselor or through self-help books, attempting to heal the past rather than run from it can prevent the overwhelming desire to find unhealthy ways to escape the surfacing emotions and memories.
4. Be objective.

though issues that occur with family members (or those that occur due to a lack of them) feel and often are very personal, it is best to try to be objective during the holidays in order to avoid relapse thinking and behavior.

This requires stepping back and simply observing the dynamic in which you exist in, rather than engaging or giving in to self-sabotage. Use this as an exercise of mindfulness, and to prevent over-personalization and irrational responses by allowing you an opportunity to simply be an observer, rather than an active participant in the dysfunction.

5. Get help.

the holiday season can be extremely difficult for many, especially those who have no family or are unable to be with them. Though the aforementioned steps offer ways to get through the holidays, the pain is often still overwhelming. When this is the case, taking the steps on your own is sometimes not enough.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotion or a sense of loneliness, do not hesitate to reach out to a counselor, life or recovery coach, or even a crisis hotlines, which are available any day of the year. No matter what steps you decide to take to keep the relapse grinch from stealing your holiday spirit, remember there is so much for you to celebrate this year. You’re alive, you have a recovery community (even here, on this site) that cares about you and, because you are sober, you have yourself. You’re definitely not alone, and the potential for a bright future remains yours to fulfill. For some of us, that simple reality is already quite the holiday miracle.

how to stop the relapse grinch from stealing your holiday spirit
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, Dee, for putting this back up.

The Holidays are a tough time for many people. There are expectations and hopes and often disappointment. This thread has lots of tips and ideas for helping you to navigate through the holiday season.
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Old 11-11-2017, 02:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you - it's never to early to arm ourselves.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I still remember my first sober holiday season and it was hard. These are some great tips!
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Great tips, thank you for posting. Everyone told me "make a plan now" and in the past I would take that advice lightly and not really think about things. Sometimes now it even feels silly to go through scenarios in my head. I think "I am not drinking, I am a non-drinker, I ABSOLUTELY never want to drink again, so why in the world do I need to go over this stuff, it is absolutely a non-issue for me, my resolve is that strong" But my resolve is that strong NOW. Who knows what it will be like at a stressful and chaotic gathering. I have found that when I plan out ahead of time what I will say, how I will respond it has made things so much easier when the time has come to actually deal with the drink offers.

I try to go over in my head what they might say, how they might actually offer me a drink, any questions they might ask "what? you really don't drink? why aren't you drinking? not even just one? oh come on, lighten up!" and then plan out the response I will give to that, which often varies depending on how I know the person- work friends. fellow parents of children in my son's class, family members, social acquaintances, etc. Each of those people I would probably give a different response to. Planning out who I am likely to see at any given event and how I will respond given our particular relationship has been very helpful. When the time arrives, and it invariably does, I don't have to stumble or think, I just have an automatic response that comes out with ease.
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Old 11-23-2017, 07:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think it's important, too to give yourself some sort of entitlement at parties - that is you are entitled not to drink alcohol but whatever you choose. And you don't have to care what the other guests think. Happy Holidays

~Bunnez
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Old 12-12-2017, 03:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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10 Ways To Celebrate-Christmas And Ditch Drinking

Quote:

by tori utley dec 22 2017

despite what it might feel like, there's much more to the christmas holiday than drinking or using. It might not seem like it if you're in early recovery, but all you need is a few ideas and a support system around you.

Here are 10 things you can do on christmas rather than drink [or use]:


1. Check your community calendar.

It's a total myth that there's nothing going on aside from drinking activities. Most likely, your community calendar has plenty of things listed – plays, caroling, and christmas light exhibits. Just check it out and commit to trying something new!

2. Volunteer.

It's a normal part of recovery to give back – and it will make you feel great. If you know of a nonprofit or local cause in need of extra help – like a soup kitchen or homeless shelter – try volunteering.

3. Spend time learning about your family members.


It might sound silly, but addiction can often keep your mind and thoughts preoccupied. Go into your family gathering and find someone—like a distant relative or grandparent—and ask them about the traditions they had growing up. You'll learn something, and it will make them feel valued and appreciated.

4. Plan a family game night.

If no one else has taken the initiative, plan a fun game night—or even a tournament. Pick out prizes, make a bracket, and get everyone involved. Make it kid-friendly so no game will focus on drinking. You'll have fun and will make memories in the process.

5. Give your hot chocolate a boost.


Cocktails aren't the only fun holiday drink. Treat yourself to a warm cup of hot cocoa and try new things to add in—like marshmallows, candy canes, or toffee.

6. Plan something for people who don't have a place to go.

Look your local aa/na meeting or another community support group. Many people are a part of dysfunctional or broken families, and might not have a place to go for the holidays. Try organizing a small get together with other friends in recovery. Plan a dinner, a trip to the movies, or even a brunch date with a group. This will not only help others with nowhere to go, but it will help you deepen your roots with your new, sober friends.

7. Bring treats to a meeting.

Have a baking day (either solo or with sober friends) and make extra. Bring treats to your next meeting and let it brighten someone else's day. It will make you feel good, and will spread some love around to others who might need it.

8. Just go to a meeting.

If you're even debating it, just go. It doesn't have to be aa or na, it can be celebrate recovery, smart recovery, or a cbt group. Whatever group or community meeting brings you support, attend. Especially during the holidays, tapping into the wisdom and insight of others can be extremely helpful.

9. Go sledding.

It's not just for kids! Sledding is a great way to get outside, enjoy the winter, and have fun in a way that's kid friendly and includes your whole family. Plus, if it makes you laugh, that's a good thing. Laughter helps reduce stress and can lighten a bad mood.

10. Take time for reflection.

Take a few minutes out of the hectic holiday schedule and take a moment to reflect. Look how far you've come? Every day, your recovery is getting stronger. Think back to how the holidays used to be and say a silent gratitude that you're here, sober, right now.

This list is not comprehensive – so keep brainstorming! The point? There's so much to do in your new chapter of recovery. Embrace your sober self and all the fun and joy yet to be had.

Go into this holiday season confidently, knowing you're growing day-by-day. Recovery brings a clear mind, new adventures and a peace of mind that is often absent in addiction.

https://www.soberrecovery.com/recove...itch-drinking/
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Old 12-16-2017, 03:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
how to talk to your family about recovery during the holidays
by tori utley dec 15 2017

if it's your first sober christmas holiday, you might be nervous about the questions you'll get at the dinner table. Whether your family has been supportive or not, it can be easy to get defensive or even have hurt feelings over something they may have said.

For this reason, it's important to go into a conversation with your family members knowing what to expect. While you can't plan for every question, offensive glance or back-handed compliment, try to remember these four things to keep you centered and at peace as you're talking to your family about your recovery.

1. It takes time.

Just like your recovery hasn't happened overnight, your family's positive response might not either. If this isn't your first time getting sober, it might take more time to prove to your family that you're serious.

Some have even said that in addiction, "we've trained our family how to respond and how to act." we're all creatures of habit, and your family needs time to learn the new you. Remember this and be patient with them. Use it as an opportunity to continue showing them who you are in recovery—and that you're serious about it.
2. You can't change the past.

Don't try to change it or explain it away. No matter how painful or ugly, it happened. The good news? You can change the future.

Your family might want to have a conversation about the past or re-hash an old conflict. Even though it hurts, try not to get defensive. Instead, use the tools your recovery has given you—patience, integrity, honesty and compassion, among many others.

Said best by the promises of aa, "we will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it."
3. People are allowed to respond.

All you need to do is the next right thing. You can't change the way other people perceive your recovery, or even respond to it. Stay in control of yourself, and leave other people to themselves.

You might not like someone's unsolicited opinion or feedback, but it happens, and people have the freedom to express themselves, no matter how difficult it might be to hear. If you don't agree, try responding in love, using fact and putting emotion aside. If you need extra help processing, consider discussing any difficult feedback you receive with a counselor, sponsor or recovery coach.
4. Be grateful.

Hold on to the principle of gratitude throughout the holidays this year. Your family might get on your nerves, might say the wrong thing, and might even offend you during your christmas celebration.

Try to stay grateful for your family, including the good and bad. And if it's hard to direct your gratitude towards your family specifically, stay grateful for recovery. Recovery is giving you the ability to be an active participant in the holidays, in your family, and in resisting confrontation with difficult family members.

No matter what happens when you talk with your family about recovery, remember to give them time. Cling to the principles of recovery to help you stay humble, centered and focused.

And if grandma or mom brings up a past memory, try to keep it light. Acknowledge and take ownership where needed, and remind them, "i'm doing something different today—i'm pursuing recovery."

https://www.soberrecovery.com/recove...-the-holidays/
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Great stuff here ~ This will be my first attempt at a sober Christmas.....Christmas Eve will be the test.....not really struggling but I'm anticipating that "f-it" moment.....Need to stick close to SR.....Thanks again everyone!
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 11-18-2018, 06:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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As always, we need this, Dee. Thank you.
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Old 11-18-2018, 07:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Always good to have a plan to get thru the holidays. Thanks Dee!
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:57 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Popping this one up to the top.

Always a great reminder!

Answers for the drink-pushers:

"No thanks, I've drank my share already."

"I stopped drinking and I feel so much better that I've decided to give it up."

"I'm trying to be healthier."

"I don't like the way alcohol makes me feel."

"I cut back and then just quit and now I can't see going back to drinking."

"I'm taking a break." (a break can last 60 years or so. )

...and my favorite, "No thanks, I'll have a water please."
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