New Year’s Eve is known to be one of the most celebrated holidays of the year!
It is common for people to enjoy parties and indulge in alcohol or other substances while brining in the new year with friends! Every year, thousands of people partake in dangerous levels of alcohol consumption and make poor choices. A night like this can be especially difficult for someone in recovery. Temptation lies at every corner.
So, let’s talk about what to do if you end up in a situation that challenges your sobriety tonight!
- Say No and Go. You do not have to stay in an uncomfortable place if it means putting your recovery at risk. Whether you choose to tell the host your reason for leaving or not, you are under no obligation to stay in that position. By showing up, greeting the hosts, and conversing with a few people you know, you’ve already extended your thanks. Respect yourself enough to say no and not toy with the idea of saying “yes” or “just one.”
- Use Your Escape Plan. There are few things worse than finding yourself stuck in a situation where you feel pressured to drink with no way out. This is why having an escape plan is absolutely necessary. You never know when you’ll need to leave so having a way out as soon as you need it is the smartest thing to do when you attend a party where you know there will be alcohol. Whether it’s calling a trusted friend, family member or Uber to pick you up, make sure you use the resources available to you to get out of the situation you’re in. A bit of awkwardness is not worth compromising your sobriety.
- Manage your urges. If there’s no immediate way out, remember that urges only last 15-30 minutes. That doesn’t make them any easier to fight off, but maybe it will help you to withstand knowing it is passing. Try to substitute your urges with chewing gum, making a non-alcoholic drink, journaling your thoughts and feelings down in your notes section on your phone typing pros and cons and your reasons sobriety is important to you, repeat a personal mantra: “I am stronger than this, and this will pass.” Occupying your mind with constructive thoughts will distract you and help you to change your perspective.
- Call a friend. Having supportive sober friends is important for anyone in substance misuse recovery. It is especially important during the holiday season, though, to have those friends you can call at any time. Whether you’re experiencing cravings to drink or you simply need someone to talk you through a difficult situation, the voice of a friend is a priceless tool. Having someone who relates to where you’re coming from can make all the difference when staying sober on New Year’s Eve.
Reflect on the progress you have made throughout your recovery journey. Don’t let one night of unnecessary temptation distract you from your goal of living a healthy, sober lifestyle!