Staying sober during the holidays isn’t easy, probably because you’re surrounded by friends and family, creating emotionally charged and stressful situations. Some of the sticky situations you might encounter this season might may include
- Family conflict. Strained relationships may complicate holiday planning—or leave you with little to plan for.
- Past Guilt. Memories of what happened during past holidays create feelings of guilt and embarrassment.
- Self-consciousness. Worrying about what others think of you and fear of being put on the spot may further add to the holiday stress.
These situations are prime opportunities to trigger a discouraging relapse. So what can you do to help yourself?
How Can I Help Myself Stay Sober? Overcome Other People’s Expectations
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the expectation of other people. Regardless of who you are or where you live, there is an expectation from your family, friends, and the whole world, of what Christmas should be like—expectations of what you should do, where you should go, and what you should eat or drink.
Holiday commercialism shows Christmases laced with cranberries and poinsettias, or parties with alcohol and new eggnog recipes. Everything is warm, fuzzy and wonderful.
But that’s not always reality.Not every Christmas looks the same. Most importantly, not every Christmas has to be the same. Don’t feel like you have to live up the expectations of the world. Create your own experience independent of outside pressures to conform because your recovery comes first.