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The Transition House, Inc.

How to survive your first holiday season sober


Surely you'll be spending time with loved ones during the holidays – eating, drinking, and being merry. It’s all part of the holiday season, right? For some, the holidays can be a season of exceptionally tempting circumstances. It seems that every holiday party is surrounded by alcohol. When you are newly sober, your first holiday season can be an extremely stressful time. Family dynamics, old friends and added social pressures can cause even the strongest person to relapse. To help you during this crucial time, we’ve put together a few tips to ensure that you come out of the holiday season with your sobriety intact.

It’s okay to tell people you’re in recovery

Recovery is a process that is entirely your own. If you feel like you want to share with friends and family that you are making positive steps towards a happier and healthier life, by all means, do so! On the other hand, if you think your journey is best kept to yourself, that is your decision. But if you'd like to keep it private, be prepared for someone to ask why you aren't partaking. And remember, sharing your life choices with others can help strengthen your commitment to a sober life and can motivate you to remain on track during a tumultuous time. 

Plan sober activities with friends and family

If you know you’re going home for the holidays and will see old friends that bring back memories of past bad behaviors, consider skipping out on rekindling your friendship. These toxic relationships can cause you to fall right back into old traps. Try spending time with those around you who understand your journey and will be there to participate in activities that don't require drinking. Plan out your days ahead of time to avoid any unwanted situations. There are plenty of winter activities for you to enjoy, like ice skating, decorating cookies, Christmas caroling, etc.

Find help for your loved one struggling with addiction. Download our free resources:

Download Addiction Resources for Families

If you’re traveling, find a local AA meeting

The beautiful thing about Alcoholics Anonymous is that there are meetings virtually anywhere in the United States. Keeping on tracking and connecting with others who are going through the exact same situation as you can be so helpful. Find a meeting before, during and after your vacation, and add the dates and times to your calendar or set reminders on your smartphone so you'll be sure to follow through.

Remain realistic

When you’re newly sober, it’s easy to romanticize situations. Chances are, your family and loved ones will still be the same even though you have made significant changes to your life. Remember to relax and remain calm if family drama should arise. It’s important to remember that you are only able to control yourself and your actions. Remind yourself everyday how good it feels to be sober and enjoy the holidays with clarity.

If you or someone you love are looking for counseling for substance abuse in Orlando, contact TTHI Counseling Center. We’re here to help you every step of the way.

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