Sober Holiday Survival List

The Sober Holiday Survival List

Twas my first year of recovery and all through the land
Alcohol was flowing at parties so grand

Invitations were received and sent with such care
I’m sure they were hoping that I would be there

Yet how could I show up and stay strong to my conviction
A life of sobriety and no more addiction

I’m isolated and lonely and missing the fun
Afraid if I attend my hard work will surely be undone

Pulled out of my sadness when the doorbell began ringing
It was my sponsor and he was singing

Let’s go to the parties, laugh and be merry
I’ll help you through it, come let’s not tarry

Reluctant at first I refused to go
How I was going to do this I just didn’t know

You can’t be alone, c’mon I insist
Then he handed me this holiday survival list

The night was a success, I had so much fun. And thanks to my sponsor I did it! I won

My holiday survival list was just what I needed, I’m passing it to you now in hopes you will heed it

10 Ways to Survive Holiday Parties

  1. Leave your expectations at home and allow room to be pleasantly surprised
  2. Be yourself. A party isn’t group therapy; show people the new and improved you and save your testimony for NA.
  3. Drive yourself to the party or go with a sober friend/sponsor. This will give you an out if temptations get too strong to resist.  Leave, even if it’s to take a short drive or walk to re-charge.
  4. On the way to the party, stop at an NA or AA meeting. When you leave the party, stop in again on the way home.
  5. Saying “no thank you” is A-OK. If you see danger in an invite, be too busy to attend
  6. Business parties are another story as attending is usually in your best interest.  Get there early, be sure to toast your boss and his boss (with a non-alcoholic drink). As soon as the party roars into full swing, exit stage left.
  7. Plan which parties to attend around your AA meetings. Make sobriety priority one.
  8. Deal with any resentment before attending a family gathering by writing them out on paper, as AA suggests. Clearing them from your mind will help. If tempers begin to flair at dinner, shrug, smile, and change the subject.
  9. Take a deep breath before walking in the door. Recite the Serenity Prayer, visualize your happy place, or take a short walk whenever things start to close in.
  10. AA and NA groups often have sober holiday parties. Check your local chapter for one near you.

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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