Controlling the urge to drink or do drugs isn’t easy any time but it is especially difficult at festive occasions such a holiday parties. The rest of the time, it is easier to surround yourself with others in recovery and avoid places that put temptation under your nose. It takes some planning along with a determination to stay sober but I have learned to manage joining in the festivities without giving in to the temptation of drugs and alcohol.
One of the most important things I do before attending any sort of festivity starts long before. I take good care of myself. I get plenty of exercise and plenty of rest. I also make sure I eat a well-balanced diet and eat shortly before going to a party or other festivity. That way, I am not overtired or hungry so I retain good judgment.
When I am going to a party, I always take my own car so I can leave if I feel it is necessary to avoid giving in to temptation. I check with a friend who is also in recovery and ask them to be on call if I need to talk or feel tempted. Knowing support is just a phone call away helps. Sometimes there is someone at the party who knows about my situation. I will sort of team up with this person as part of my support system.
I don’t go to every party or event I get invited to. I carefully consider which ones to accept. Some parties are more focused on drugs and alcohol as the means of having a good time and those I avoid. The types of parties I prefer are those that don’t include alcohol. Some I attend do serve alcohol but also offer non-alcoholic drinks as well. At these parties, I get my own drinks so I am not tempted to drink something someone offers me that might have alcohol in it.
I like to use a cup or glass that looks festive and keep it filled with fruit juice or soda. If I hold it in my hand all the time, it is seldom that anyone offers me a drink. If anyone does offer to pour alcohol in my drink, I decline saying “I don’t drink” or “I am the designated driver”. This usually works to stop the offers of alcohol.
I am careful about the food too. Some foods are made with alcohol in them, such as rum cake. Even if it is just a small amount, it can trigger cravings. If there is eggnog, I make sure it is alcohol-free before accepting any.
I have learned how to stop drinking alcohol in social situations and still enjoy myself. If I can do it, so can you.