Friends In Recovery Answered
Question: What advice would you give to maintain
recovery during the holidays?
Just keep it simple, and stay close to the winners. Don’t isolate!!
Don’t make a big deal about it being any different than any other time of year. I have found that
most of the time something is only a big deal if I make it a big deal.
Surround yourself with family and great friends. Keep your head high and think positive.
~Shannon R. (26 years)
Do whatever it takes. Whether you go somewhere or have to be alone, do whatever it takes.
There will be other holidays and they will all come around again but your sobriety can be lost, never to
I tried to avoid situations that would put me in a drinking/partying environment. If I had to attend a
function (because of family or whatever reason) I arrived early and left early. I always had my own vehicle
so I could leave if things became too uncomfortable for me. I always had my cell phone charged and ready.
If the urge became too great, I would call my sponsor or someone else in the program and they would talk me
through the urge. Heck, at one function I attended, my cell phone rang off the hook. People were looking at me
like I was selling drugs or something but it was actually my friends from the fellowship calling to check on me
and lend their support. Today it isn’t too difficult to be in those situations anymore, but I am ALWAYS aware
and continue to use the tools that have been suggested from the
substance abuse treatment.
Try your best to pull yourself from old playgrounds and old playmates and leave the rest to your Higher Power.
I’m lucky to be near family each holiday.
I recommend using the holidays to exercise the freedom
substance abuse treatment
gives us to be creative. When I was still using,
I was always a mess during the holidays. In early recovery, I was afraid of the holidays. Now I realize being
clean and in recovery has given me the opportunity to express myself creatively. This can and does take all
kinds of forms if we are willing to let it. One fun thing I was surprised to discover about myself after I got
clean is that I am a very good baker; what a great talent to have during the holidays! I truly enjoy trying
new recipes, making ones I already know are delicious, and sharing them with others. My creativity can also be
about more serious things. Though I do enjoy spending time with my family and friends during the holidays,
I’ve also gotten into the habit of making sure part of my day is spent privately with my Higher Power. I light
a candle and usually read from one of my favorite meditation books. I let myself settle until I tap into peace,
gratitude, calmness and love; and then I feel more equipped to share those things when I go out into the busy
(and sometimes kind of crazy) holiday events. I feel hopeful when I imagine substance abusers and alcoholics who used to
be full of mood and mind altering chemicals, fear, selfishness, anger and resentment taking the opportunity to
create during the holidays or any other time of year. I think it is just one more thing that proves our
disease can be arrested and we can be set free to do amazing things.
I have found during the holiday season that the best way to
from substance abuse treatment is
to put yourself
“out there” for others, more than ever. Get back to basics. Go to shelters and halfway houses and
Listen to them and share your story when asked. Spend time with those that have been your guide,
your peers, your support. Give freely.
Attend meetings. Stressed or not, attend extra meetings and share your feelings. Stay spiritually fit.
Keep in touch with your sponsor, daily. Maintain attitude of gratitude. Enjoy the holidays with the God
given gift of sobriety! If you attend church, it’s a good time not to miss services. Have a happy,
Make more meetings and hangout with God.
Question: Do you have any great non-alcoholic beverage ideas for the holidays?
Apple Cide ~Dick N., Parker Valley Hope alum, 11-21-98
A 2-lite bottle of ginger ale and 1 large can of pineapple juice. Delicious!
Don’t drink non-alcoholic beer or other lookalikes. Don’t do it. I still remember the discussion on
this in Small Group. While the product may not have alcohol in it, the mental process of “drinking”
will still have an effect. Holding the long neck in your hand, clinking the ice in the glass, does the
word “trigger” ring a bell? I believe this 100%. We need to do everything we can to stay away from
even pretending to drink. I will admit in year 1 and 2, it was a funny feeling to be at the office
party or whatever and not drinking. Enjoy not drinking and just enjoy the feeling of power you now have
over the substance abuse and within yourself. So, get your soda and toast the new you. Happy Holidays to all.
Sunny D orange drink. Lots of ice, its wonderful!
Cranberry Juice and 7up – super refreshing!
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