How to Enjoy New Year’s Eve Without Sacrificing Your Sobriety

If there’s ever a time that it’s “okay” to drink, it’s on New Year’s Eve. Society seems to conspire around us to make that very point.

Ads on the television, radio and bilboards along highways try to convince us that one particular brand of liquor or another will deliver us the greatest party, making everyone inherently more social and fun.

Alcohol may enhance the fun for some, but that’s certainly not true for all.

Considering the Consequences

How about the roughly 140 people who die every New Year’s Eve as a result of drunk driving? On the second most deadly day for drivers, maybe we should just take a minute to consider the ramifications of excessive drinking even when abstaining is the exception, and not the rule.

If anyone knows just how dangerous excessive drinking can really be, it’s those of us in long-term recovery. We’ve seen our lives ripped up and torn to shreds because of our drinking.

No Fun for the Sober?

So what does that mean for us this New Year’s Eve? Can we protect ourselves from the struggle of our disease? Are we destined to relapse? Should we just give in?

Or should we just avoid people all together? Should we hunker down and lock ourselves in alone, avoiding all contact with the outside world?

No and probably not. Staying sober on New Year’s is not a hopeless cause, but it’s also not easy! Here’s a few things that we think may help you enjoy the mother of all drinking holidays without sacrificing your sobriety:

1. Find a sober friendly party.

There’s nothing wrong with socializing, but if you’re in a place where everything is centered on alcohol, staying sober is going to be a challenge.

Instead, find a party where there are other things to do besides drink. Or better yet, find a sober party to enjoy with others in the program.

2. Get creative with the mocktails.

There doesn’t have to be booze in your cup for it to be creative or delicious. Mocktails like Sober Julie makes are just as beautiful and delicious as any. And you’ll be sober to enjoy them!

3. Have some fun while saying “no.”

Saying something funny while still sticking to your guns takes away some of the pressure. Instead of continuing to push you, people will be more likely to just smile and move on.

Here are a lines you can try out:

  • I have a severe allergic reaction to alcohol, when I drink I break out in handcuffs.
  • No thanks, I already sing off key as it is.
  • I’d better not, when I drink I become so witty no one can stand me.

4. Keep your sponsor in the loop …and don’t be afraid to call.

It’s always great to know you have support, but all the well wishes in the world can’t do you any good if you’re not using your resources. If you’re feeling tempted, just call. Why wait till you’ve done something you’ll regret?

5. HALT.

Don’t get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired. These are all things that can trigger your desires to use or drink. Don’t give them the chance!

Whatever your New Year’s plans are, enjoy your time with friends and family as best you can and do what’s right for you and your sobriety!