There Are Different Ways to Celebrate Holidays
Recovery from addiction to drinking or using drugs comes with many hurdles each day. However, during holidays, birthdays, or family events, the difficulties can increase, and the urges can be even greater. Holidays come with traditions and expectations, and not all of them are conducive to recovery from addiction. Alcohol is commonplace at celebrations, especially at events like the Super Bowl or the Thanksgiving Day football.
During these celebrations, there is an expectation for people to relax, stop stressing, and unwind from the world. Yet when going through recovery, it is possible that someone only knows how to interact with these holidays in one way: drinking, using drugs, or defaulting to other addictions. Holidays can be difficult, regardless of the kind of addiction or time of year. Maintaining a social life is an important facet of staying sober, so finding a new way to interact at holiday gatherings is an important aspect of finding long-term sobriety.
Each Holiday Has a History
Holidays aren’t created as an excuse to drink or party. Each holiday has a rich history behind the day, a reason to celebrate, or stems from an idea that needs recognition. When turning these past holiday traditions, such as drinking or using drugs into new, sober parties, it is helpful to grasp the roots of the holidays themselves. You can throw a holiday party that celebrates the initial cause of the holiday and the culture that it comes from.
For example, instead of using St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to drink, you can use it as a way to explore the history of St. Patrick, and take the day to learn about traditional Irish culture with food and games. Each holiday is going to be different. Taking the time to address the holidays for their cultural impact is a new way to start new traditions alongside friends and family, without feeling the need to engage in previous celebratory tendencies.
Creating New Traditions
Engaging in the historical and cultural aspects of a particular holiday is one step toward creating new traditions with friends and loved ones. However, creating new traditions can also take the form of something more personal. Getting family and friends together on the 4th of July to go mini-golfing and eat burgers doesn’t involve the need to drink or use drugs.
These traditions can still be something to look forward to: an event where everyone is gathered with a way to relax in mind. While changing traditions can be difficult, you can still plan a group activity with friends, loved ones, and anyone else that makes up your support system. Deciding on a new place to go or a new sport to try each year is a way of broadening your horizons.
Trying new things, events, and foods, as well as studying new cultures all play an important part in keeping the mind busy. Addiction and urges can set in when the mind is allowed to rest for too long, and keeping the mind and body active with new experiences can help mitigate urges from becoming relapses.
Taking on a Role
Attending parties can be difficult during the process of recovery, but if you have a purpose while attending those parties, you can help mitigate some of the trials that you or someone else may face. For example, if you aren’t comfortable going to a party just to hang out, you can always attend with a particular role, to help keep you busy and preoccupied instead of pushing you into a potentially difficult situation.
If you like cooking, perhaps you can make food for the party. If you enjoy music, maybe you can help manage the music at the party and take on the role of a DJ. If you make yourself an active participant for the event, there are ways for you to attend and enjoy a party, while also staying occupied through difficult times.
Sober parties provide another option for you regarding creating new practices around the holidays. Depending on your relationship with the members of your support system, throwing a sober party may be one of the best options. Sober parties allow you to continue celebrating with a house gathering or play the games and activities that everyone is already used to.
You can throw the party but without any alcohol present at the event. While it can be difficult if someone isn’t prepared to have a conversation about the necessity of a sober party, there are still many people who will understand. A close-knit group of friends and family members who care about your process of recovery will share in the goal of throwing a sober party.
Members of your group therapy will also share this goal and can allow for parties to be enjoyed without drugs and alcohol. You can choose who you tell about your recovery and when you want to tell them. Just know that during the holidays, you have friends and loved ones who will want to celebrate with you, while supporting your sobriety.
Brighton Recovery Center is a large recovery complex, spanning over 6 buildings, that is all dedicated to creating a supportive and judgment-free atmosphere for anyone to begin their steps to sobriety. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or any other forms of addiction, Brighton Recovery Center has a comprehensive set of programs that can cater to your unique needs. With multiple group, individual, and family therapy plans, the professional staff at Brighton is ready to work alongside you to find what program works best for your own goals and path to sobriety. For more information on their community and programs, call today at (844) 479-7035.