5 Tips for Staying Sober During Thanksgiving
So, you’ve recently completed a drug or alcohol detox in New Jersey, and now you’re looking forward to the holiday season. Like many others in recovery, you may be concerned about how you’re going to stay sober during Thanksgiving – and you’re not alone. Previously, those in recovery used to spend holidays like Thanksgiving drunk or high, and some have families who drink heavily around the holidays, so here are some tips to help you make it through Thanksgiving sober and safe.
Be Open About Your Recovery
After you’ve finished alcohol or opioid detox, you may not feel the need to tell everyone that you just completed it, but it’s important for your loved ones to know. Addiction and recovery are very personal, so it’s understandable that you might not want to tell the whole world. But, it’s important for loved ones to know in the same way it’d be important for them to know about a food allergy at Thanksgiving. You’d tell them if you had a peanut allergy so you didn’t have a reaction to the food, and it’s just as important to tell them about your recovery.
If you’re not spending time with your family, and you’re going to a friend’s or significant other’s for the holiday, it’s good to have the person you’re going with know that you’re now clean and sober. Another great strategy is to let everyone know you’re the designated driver. Saying you’re the designated driver gives you a good excuse to not partake in drinking during any occasion.
Use the Buddy System
Not everyone has an understanding of family, and some people just don’t understand addiction or recovery. This is why you should use the buddy system during occasions like Thanksgiving. You may have met people in the opioid or alcohol detox facility that you have maintained relationships with, and they may come with you to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. This will help with accountability, and you can also talk to them if you’re feeling stressed out.
If someone can’t come with you to Thanksgiving, find someone who can be there for support digitally. Just let someone know that you may be texting them throughout the day if you need someone to talk to.
During the holidays, many 12-step fellowships host marathon meetings. This means the fellowship has meetings every hour because the holidays can be rough. If you don’t have people to spend the holidays with, these meetings may be something to consider to give support to others and gain some yourself.
Even if you do have a family that you’re spending Thanksgiving with, it’s great to go to a marathon meeting before dinner to get into the right mindset. If your Thanksgiving is hectic, it may be good to go to an evening meeting to decompress as well.
Have an Exit Plan
Anxiety can be a huge trigger for many people who just completed a detox, so one of the best practices is to organize an exit plan. Before you go to Thanksgiving dinner, you should already have an idea of how long you’re going to stay and a reason to leave after a certain amount of time. This is perfect for anyone who has a very stressful family situation. For example, you can let your family know ahead of time by saying, “I can stay for a couple of hours, but then I’m meeting a friend at a marathon meeting.” And yes, marathon meetings are a great excuse to leave if you need to.
Overall, the most important tip for maintaining recovery during Thanksgiving is to set boundaries. Sometimes, you simply just have to say, “no”. The only person who knows where you’re at in your recovery is you, and sometimes you’re not in a place to endure Thanksgiving with friends or family members. Always remember, it’s better to have some type of support system for the holidays though. Just keep in mind that your recovery comes first, and you may have to turn down some invitations for Thanksgiving dinner.
If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, allow Enlightened Solutions detox in NJ to help. We specialize in alcohol detox, opioid detox and many other substances. Give us a call today at 833-233-7336 to find out more about how we can help.