While many of us look forward to New Year’s Eve celebrations with great anticipation, those in recovery know just how tenuous the hours before the clock strikes 12 can be. If you are facing the infamous ball drop with more than a little bit of trepidation, Pasadena Recovery Center has tips to help you ring in the New Year with your sobriety intact.
Some New Year’s Eve celebrations may be easier to handle than others. Try to find a party or gathering where alcohol will not be the central focus. This usually means avoiding get-togethers at bars or those labeled as “cocktail parties.”
BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage)
If you can’t check ahead to find out if non-alcoholic beverages will be served, simply bring along your own favorite soft drink. Keep your cup in your hand at all times to avoid the temptation of grabbing an alcohol-filled glass. This will also prevent some funny guy at the party from spiking your drink when you are not looking.
Hang with Non-Drinking Friends
While it may seem everyone you know is getting plastered during the biggest party night of the year, there are bound to be a few that do not see drunkenness as the way to a fun New Year’s Eve. Find those friends and stick with them for the night. Even better, hit or host a party with others in recovery, where you know alcohol will not be a temptation.
Choose an Alcohol-Free Activity
While many New Year’s Eve festivities do involve alcohol, others do not for practical reasons. Find an activity where alcohol won’t be served, such as ice skating or a holiday movie. Host a game night and serve a variety of fun, alcohol-free beverages as well as a few enticing snacks.
Keep Your Sponsor Close
No one is going to understand the New Year’s Eve struggle as much as your sponsor or others working through recovery with you. Keep those phone numbers with you at all times, so you can place a quick call if the situation gets desperate. There are also apps you can place on your phone that can give you the discreet encouragement you need when the situation becomes too challenging.
Have an Escape Plan
In some cases, your safest plan may be an escape plan that gets you out of the tempting situation and back to an environment where sobriety comes easier. Before you leave you house to attend any function, put an escape plan in your mind so you can get out of the situation quickly if challenges arise.
Forgive and Reward Appropriately
What happens if you do break and have a drink on New Year’s Eve? Forgive yourself for your slip and don’t let that slip turn into a full-fledged relapse. If you make it through the night without so much as a sip of champagne, plan a reward for yourself like a New Year’s Day shopping spree or brunch at your favorite restaurant.
New Year’s Eve is a tough time for those in recovery, whether you are new to your recovery process or you have enjoyed many years of sobriety. To get additional help making it through the holiday season, contact Pasadena Recovery Center at 866-663-3030.