The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are filled with good cheer, good food and often lots of good liquor. If you are trying to attain or maintain your sobriety from alcohol and other drugs, this can be an especially stressful time of year.
Beginning in mid-November, there is a push to join with family, attend gatherings and spend lavishly on gifts. If your family is considered “risky people”, if the gatherings involve alcohol or other drug use and you don’t have much money because your substance use took a big chunk our of your wallet, you may not be so eager to join in.
Here are some suggestions for making it through the next few weeks:
1.Consider your sobriety first. If you do not attain and maintain sobriety, nothing else will work. Do whatever you need to do achieve this goal.
2.Remember: stress is only how you react to a situation. No one can make you feel a certain way. Choose your attitude!
3.Consider making a clear statement to your family, friends and co-workers about what you need so that they may support your sobriety. True friends and supportive family will skip the liquor and serve ginger ale and root beer. One person I know arranged to take two cars to a family gathering where he knew alcohol would be plentiful. His immediate family knew that if he began to feel uncomfortable, he had the means to leave the gathering on his own and drive himself to a safer place.
4.If you must attend an office party you do not have to drink. Play out some options in your head before you go so you won’t be caught by surprise when the boss encourages you to have a drink.
5.Reach out to your sober friends: plan a get-together in person or by phone. Remember: the phone does not weigh 800 pounds. Try some non-alcoholic recipes
6.Attend a self help group, either for an hour, or one of the Alcoholics Anonymous “Alkathons” that go all night New Year’s Eve. Where else can you hang out all night with other people committed to sobriety and maybe even have fun?
Eastern Massachusetts NEW YEAR’S ALKATHONS
ABINGTON E. B. Dawn Patrol. United Ch., Rte. 18, Bedford St., 6 PM 12/31-6 PM 1/1
ATTLEBORO District 4. Cameron Building, 68 Falmouth St., 6 PM 12/31-6 AM 1/1
BEVERLY Second Chance. White Whale, 9 Hale St. 7 PM 12/31-9:30 PM 1/1
BRIGHTON Brookline Group. Cong. Ch., 404 Washington St. 8 PM 12/31-5:30 PM 1/1
BROCKTON District 6. Hilston Gym, 891 Montello St., 10 PM 12/31-7:15 PM 1/1
DEDHAM Village. Unitarian Ch., 670 High St. 8 Pm 12/31-8 PM 1/1
DUXBURY Senior Center, 10 Mayflower St., 6 PM 12/31-6 PM 1/1
GLOUCESTER Cape Ann Early Bird. Baptist Ch., 38 Gloucester Ave. 6 PM 12/31Noon-1/1
LYNN Disgtrict 17. St. Mary’s, 8 So. Common St. 6 PM 12/31-6 PM 1/1
QUINCY District 8. Congregational Ch., 48 Winthrop Ave. 6 PM 12/31-6 PM 1/1
SALEM NH District 10 NH. St. Joseph’s, 40 Main St. 6 PM 12/31-1 AM 1/1 & 6 AM-Noon 1/1
SOMERSET Retread. Ch. Of Savior, 2112 County St., Rte. 138, 7:30 PM-Midnight 12/31
WOBURN Young People. St. Charles Sch., Café, 282 Main St., 3 PM 12/31-1 PM 1/1
Make it a healthy, happy and safe holiday and New Year.