Prairie Counseling Center want to remind everyone that the holidays are a time of celebration, gratitude, warmth, togetherness, appreciation, comfort, magic and yes – indulgence. From succulent meats to savory side dishes and luscious desserts, there is always a temping decadent dish on the decorated dining table. There are also the temptations of imbibing. The holidays bring no shortage of alcoholic beverages – red wine, egg nog, martinis and viscous, frothy stouts that adhere to your bones.
This presents a challenge to anyone watching their calories, carbs, cholesterol, and mostly – to those whose goal remains to abstain from alcohol. Being sober does not mean you have to be alone during the holidays. Prairie Counseling Center want to assure you that you can still enjoy the spirit of the season surrounded by friends and family without succumbing. If you are determined to remain sober, here is some encouraging advice from Prairie Counseling Center staff to heed during besotted holiday evenings that tempt some and cause urges to relapse:
Pick and choose your parties
Holiday festivities are entertaining and filled with joyous warmth, ugly sweaters, and the inevitable Christmas cheer in a punchbowl. Be selective when accepting invitations to gatherings this season. If you know alcohol will be served, politely decline the invite and, if asked, be confident enough in your sober journey to explain your planned absence. Your friends and family – if their loyalty to your goals ring true – will be understanding, appreciative and supportive.
Have a plan when you attend a party
If you make the decision to attend a gathering where alcohol is present, remain strong in your conviction to abstain. Carry a bottle of water, juice, sparkling water or other virgin beverage. Remember to eat. If the urge to drink is too strong to overcome, leave the party – either in your own vehicle or have a sober friend or family member on call to retrieve you. Leaving is not a weakness.
Communicate with your sponsor or other trusted resource
They know this season will be difficult, particularly if your family or friends enjoy drinking. Whether you are constantly surrounded by gaggles of revelers or spending the holidays by yourself, you are never alone in your commitment to remain on a path of clean living. When you feel the weight of impossible demands clawing at your resolve reach out. There is always someone present in your life who made a commitment to you and they want nothing more than to see you succeed.
If you have any questions or are seeking help for a substance use issue, please call Prairie Counseling Center at (618)664-1455 to get started on your path to sobriety and recovery.