by Kate Fitch
Earlier this week I talked about handling Thanksgiving when you’re in recovery from disordered eating. Today I’m going to talk about it in the context of recovering from alcoholism. Lots of Thanksgiving celebrations include drinking as well as eating, so how can you hang onto your sobriety? Here are some tips from me to you.
- Set limits on your stress level. Especially if this is your first Thanksgiving on the wagon, avoid overextending yourself. Attending 2 parties, hosting 1, cooking elaborate desserts for all, managing in-laws, AND staying sober through it all is rough. Take a back seat this year if you need to.
- Pre-arrange an ally. Ask someone you are comfortable with, and who is attending the party, to be your buddy. Accompanying you to the beverages area, talking you down if you are experiencing urges, and staying sober with you at the party are all things this person could help you with.
- Driving a group? Volunteer to be the designated driver. Knowing you are responsible to get your friends/family home safely can help you keep focused on sobriety.
- Be present! It’s hard to really give thanks, enjoy the party, and enjoy the food when the focus is all on alcohol. If you find yourself thinking about it too much, take a moment to be conscious of the smells, sounds, and sights around you. Breathe it all in, remind yourself of what you’re thankful for.
- Take a time-out if you need to. Bring something from your toolbox – like crochet, meditation, or affirmations – and find a place to use it away from everyone else. If your time-outs are better with other people, bring your ally.
Have a healthy, happy, and thankful holiday!