Photo courtesy of Kelly Helsel
Sober Holidays Fun is All in How You Plan It
It’s almost Holidays and everyone is excited to celebrate. However, if you’re a person in addiction recovery, this holiday is especially risky in that you don’t want to be caught off guard and risk relapsing. But never fear, the trick to having a fun Halloween night without compromising your sobriety is all in planning ahead.
Here’s how to brew up a fun Holidays while sticking to your recovery plan.
Have an exit strategy
If you’re going out and want to avoid tricky situations, it’s important to know when you’re going to leave any gathering and how. First and foremost, you need to have your own way of getting home that doesn’t rely on anyone else. So consider driving separately from the group or hailing a cab. You’ll also want to have a buddy who’s down to be sober with you so you have someone to lean on throughout the night. It’s a good idea to craft an escape code with this person so they understand when you’re ready to leave without it being a buzz kill for the rest of the group. When it’s time to hit the road, don’t beat yourself up about it, and don’t let anyone pressure you into staying longer than you’d like. As Psychology Today points out, “If you allow yourself to leave parties when you’re ready, you’re more likely to enjoy them while you’re there.” If necessary, make specific plans for after the celebration and let everyone know you have to leave because you have somewhere else you need to be.
How to respond if someone offers you a drink
Not everyone understands your situation, and you certainly don’t want to spend Halloween night explaining it to them. In order to have a good time without any alcohol, you should establish a few responses you’re comfortable with and have them prepared in case anyone unknowingly tries to get you to drink. As Top Dreamer suggests, sometimes a polite “no, thank you” will suffice. However, letting people know you’re not drinking because you plan on driving soon is also a foolproof answer. Again, if it’s possible, don’t be the only sober friend at the party.
Having someone else around who’s not drinking can help take the attention off of you. It’s also a good idea to carry around a non-alcoholic beverage to sip on all evening so no one notices you’re not drinking. Most importantly, have fun. If you’re enjoying yourself and socializing, what you’re drinking won’t matter to anyone else.
Don’t go out
Maybe you’re just not ready to be surrounded by people who are drinking, and that’s okay. As a person in addiction recovery, it’s important to know your triggers and come up with solutions that will help you safely maneuver them. However, just because you’re not spending Halloween night out trolling the bar scene doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate and have a good time. Rethink Halloween and get into the spirit by going to a pumpkin patch, picking one out, and then having a carving contest back at home.
There are plenty of other creative ways to get into the spooky holiday swing as well. Try roasting pumpkin seeds, touring a haunted house, or dressing up your pet up and donning a costume to match. You can also try snuggling up by the fireplace with a pot of chili and a good horror story, or go out for a hay ride and get lost in a corn maze. Try hosting a bonfire, or maybe even re-enact the cult following behind Rocky Horror Picture show by having a screening and dressing up as various characters.
No matter what you decide or what your comfort level is, know that you can have a good time this Halloween without abusing any substances. By planning ahead, knowing how to handle social situations, or choosing to stay home, you’re taking charge of your night and your recovery.
I would like to add a few words to Calebs post, I also feel you can offer water in pretty wine glasses with chopped up lemon or cucumber, you can offer a non alcoholic beverage, soda, find recipes for Virgin drinks. You can have fun with out Alcohol, but so save feelings to to follow proper manners for a party, on your invites, you may want to mention this is a non alcoholic party. and whether or not people can bring their own. People don’t want to find out once they get there and a lot of people like to bring wine as a hostess gift and if you don’t want to provide alcohol or don’t want people bring alcohol, please be clear, so you don’t cause any embarrassment. you my find people cancel and that is there right, so it’s your home and for me personally I serve everything and if people bring stuff they are welcome to. Its a gamble! But also consider who is on your guest list.