For someone struggling with addiction, holidays like Thanksgiving can be challenging and even depressing. Celebrations often include alcohol – and it seems to be everywhere. Even if alcohol isn’t present, the struggle of a sober Thanksgiving can produce anxiety or stress.
You may have unrealistic expectations about the holiday. Furthermore, all that eating time on the road, and spending your days with the in-laws can cause you to give in to numerous triggers. How do you enjoy a sober Thanksgiving? What do you do if you face temptations? Below is a simple guide to help you stay clean.
Sober Thanksgiving: Have a Strategy Already in Place
You probably learned about your triggers and temptations in rehab. So, now that you know what may lead to a relapse, you can develop a strategy to protect your sobriety and have a sober Thanksgiving. One thing you can do is line up your support group or 12-step meeting before and after the big day.
Are you prepared for what you will do if you walk into a room where there is alcohol? You may want to take your own vehicle to parties so that you can make a quick getaway if necessary. Also, have a strategy for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. One thing we rarely prepare for is how a person, place, or situation will make us feel.
Sober Thanksgiving: Decide to Have a Good Attitude
You could probably list a thousand reasons why this is going to be one of the most challenging Thanksgivings for you. However, you only need one or two reasons to be thankful and in the right frame of mind. So, make the decision that you are going to make the best of the holidays.
To go one step further, celebrate this as the holiday where you won’t be intoxicated. Use this occasion to forgive yourself and forgive others. It’s an opportunity to bring healing to relationships and look forward to what the future has to offer instead of dwelling on the past. A sober Thanksgiving could be your best one yet.
Sober Thanksgiving: Serve Others This Season
One way to connect with others in a positive atmosphere is to service. Try to find a homeless shelter, charity, or church where you can help out. When you are focused on helping others, you are less likely to dwell on your addiction. You may have an opportunity to go visit some people in the hospital or participate in some community service.
If nothing else, help out the family this season by volunteering to cook, clean, or set the table. Help out with chores, or put up the Christmas tree. Try to find ways of caring for others and meeting their needs.
Enjoy Your Sober Thanksgiving and Bright Future
If you are struggling with alcohol or addiction, there is help. Victory Bay offers comprehensive rehab and aftercare at our addiction treatment center. To find out more about how to get started with your treatment, or if you need more help having a sober Thanksgiving, call us at 855.259.1624. We can answer your questions and go over your options.