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Navigating the Holidays ~ Addiction and Recovery Guidelines to Happy Holidays

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Many people early in recovery are uncomfortable attending gatherings where they might be exposed to alcohol and drugs, and rightfully so. Many recovering individuals find themselves wondering if they will ever have fun again...and if they do, how fun will it really be without a drink.

It takes time for people to accept those that are recovering. To be honest, most may act as though you have done something to THEM by becoming sober. How dare you? You've ruined everything by changing. They don't know how to act around you. But what they don't understand is that it for your very survival that you made the change. it's part of the process.

Here are some guideline's to follow to make the transition a bit easier:

1. Set Boundaries Ahead of Time ~ you know what to expect from the family and you know your triggers. Don't test yourself. They will ask you if you want something. Lots of people very early in sobriety make the mistake of thinking that they have the monster under control or that they need to prove something to themselves or to others. /if your gut says you've had enough...listen.

2. Have an escape plan ~ make sure that you have a car to leave when YOU want to or money for a cab. Don't worry about explaining or apologizing for leaving early.

3. Take a sober friend for support ~ having someone to talk to that is also not drinking will ease the pressure you may feel. Many people drink to ease the awkwardness of social meetings.

4. Take your own drink ~ make sure you have something to drink. People will be less likely to ask you if you want something if you have something. Having something in your hand will help with any fidgeting.

5. Be ready to feel Awkward ~ its part of the growing process. Keep your short list of why you have made this change close. If you need to, go into the restroom and tell yourself in the mirror your affirmations that got you this far again and again. The stress of the holidays alone can be too much for many. It will get easier.

6. Be proud of yourself ~ you are one minute, one hour and one day closer to making this permanent. You are making memories that you will remember and be proud of in the future. Good for You!! Peace

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