For many people, Thanksgiving is a time to get together and spend time with friends and family. Even if circumstances force you to limit the number of people you surround yourself with, it can still be a nerve-wracking experience if it’s the first one you’ve spent sober in a long time. You’ll need to adjust to the idea of having a good time without indulging in the wines, ciders, and other alcoholic drinks you enjoyed in the past. At Westwind Recovery®, we have listed three ways you can help ensure you’re still able to have a fun and sober Thanksgiving.
Ideas for a Sober Thanksgiving
1. Have a Plan For the Holiday
Holiday events like Thanksgiving mean being in the company of family and friends who may have questions about your sobriety. There may be uncomfortable questions and comments about where you are in your recovery. Some may drag up problems from the past that arise from past issues with drugs or alcohol.
You can mitigate some of the awkwardness of those conversations by having rehearsed answers ready. Remember, you are under no obligation to go into detail every time someone asks you if you’d like a drink or offers you another substance you know might trigger a relapse.
It can help to attend a meeting or get counseling at an outpatient drug rehab center before attending any Thanksgiving gatherings. Be careful about which invitations you accept. It’s ok to decline those you know might include people who might not support your recovery. The priority should be on having a sober Thanksgiving and rebuilding connections with those you care about.
2. Keep a Positive Mindset
Another key to having a sober Thanksgiving is staying positive and not letting dark thoughts ruin things for you from the outset. Talking about your reservations with a mental health counselor can help you work out your doubts and adjust your attitude.
Try to keep realistic expectations about what you expect from a sober Thanksgiving. Work on being open and positive to everyone without expecting the worst intentions. Try not to be defensive when people ask you innocuous questions.
It can help to attend gatherings with someone who can jump into situations that seem to be turning negative. They can help get the conversation back on track or pull you away if they sense you are starting to struggle with continuing with having a sober Thanksgiving.
3. Give Yourself Options
Do as much as you can to take control over having a sober Thanksgiving. Think about hosting dinner at your home. You can ensure there are non-alcoholic options available. If you do attend someone else’s gathering, bring a non-alcoholic beverage as a gift to ensure there’s something for you to drink.
If you need to, have an excuse ready that allows you to leave if you find yourself faced with a triggering situation. Reach out to someone from your support network as soon as you go. Many people find themselves tempted to drink or use drugs again after they leave a holiday gathering. Having someone present to talk you down can help you avoid relapsing after a sober Thanksgiving.
Get Sober For The Holidays
Westwind Recovery® can help you overcome substance abuse issues. Enrolling in one of our addiction treatment programs can help get you ready to have a sober Thanksgiving. We take an individualized approach to care, making sure clients receive treatment plans that cater to their needs and give them the best shot at achieving recovery.
Our facility offers a variety of options for those seeking to overcome substance abuse issues, including: