The party was what I did best.
The holidays can be a treacherous stretch of days for those of us in recovery. With all the family gatherings, memories of Christmas past, and the holiday parties it can be just a tad overwhelming. Especially for those who are early in recovery and are just getting their sober legs under them. Holiday parties can sometimes be the one thing that gives us a false sense of security. After all, it is what we know, what we are good at, the party.
When it came to the holidays, the parties are what I lived for. In my mind they were made up to be these magical events that would finally bring me the holy grail of life I had searched for. In reality, they were just a booze fest of debauchery that I seldom even remembered. A fantasy of whimsical proportion that just never did quite come true. However, I was the professional and at least I showed all those “wanna be’s” how it was done.
Being sober is freedom to really get your party on.
In recovery attending these parties becomes an entirely different monster. It becomes a battle for literal life and death. We can think that we are strong and in a good place with our sobriety only to find us hung over once again in the morning if we are not careful. We have to be prepared, practical, and on top of our game to protect our way of sober living. It is the warrior inside of us that will allow us to party like your sober and really show them how it’s done.
I have included some tips to help us stay focused and prepared as we attend parties in sobriety. Especially the ones of the holiday variety.
Questions to ask yourself as your decide which holiday parties to attend.
- What is this event really all about? Is it just a drunk fest or a true holiday celebration?
- Is this party appropriate for me to attend at this point in my recovery?
- Be honest. What are my real motives for attending this party?
Survival tips for attending those holiday parties in recovery.
- Take a sober friend along with you if possible. There is strength in numbers.
- Make sure there are non-alcoholic drinks available. If not, bring your own.
- In case you become uncomfortable and feel overwhelmed, prepare an exit strategy.
- Drive your own car and if it is a house party make sure that you are not blocked in by other cars.
- Do not be a designated driver. They always stay till the party is over. I learned this one the hard way.
- Do not let free-flowing alcohol distract you, instead stay focused on the real reason you attended and enjoy the company, conversation, and let others see your light shine.
When can now become the real life of the party.
As people in recovery we can still live life to the fullest and party like we are sober. We just cannot be careless in our attitude towards it and must stay vigilant to our commitment to sobriety. “Normies” need to see us at parties, having a great time, without needing a glass of alcohol in our hands. The life we live is one that blows my mind daily. We must let others see that light so that if they are in a darkness of their own they can step out of it and not be afraid.
I want to take this moment, to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I pray that your 2017 will bring you the promises of a sober life and great strides in your recovery. In recovery I have found real life, one that I never imagined I could have. My hope is that you do also. So party like your sober and live like a warrior on purpose.