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Depending on your religion and your location, the holidays come at various times of the year for you. However, nearly every culture has holidays of some sort throughout the year. And with holidays, typically comes alcohol, too. For most people, this is an exciting time, a tradition, and just the icing on the cake for the rest of the goodies.

But for recovering alcoholics, the holidays can be a time full of temptation and worry. This can also be a time where maintaining sobriety seems nearly impossible. For this reason, many recovering alcoholics can find themselves loathing a time of year that most people love and even skipping out on family or friend’s parties as a way to avoid the temptation and sadness.

Not only does the presence of alcohol cause recovering alcoholics to relapse, but the stress and anxiety that comes with being surrounded by numerous people, and sometimes people you don’t see often or don’t even like, can drive someone to even want to drink. So, with the holiday season running rapid, how does one maintain their sobriety amidst the stress and temptation?

  1. Be prepared for what is to come.
    The worst thing you can do is blindly go to a party, or be in denial and think that a place where there is typically temptation won’t have temptation this year. Mentally prepare yourself for the environment you are about to be in and start to comprise a plan for various situations.
  2. Remind yourself why sobriety is more important than that drink.
    When you are in the heat of the moment, it might not seem like a bad idea to give in. But start thinking ahead of time so it is easy to remind yourself in the moment just why it is that sobriety is the most important thing to you. What all will be ruined by just that one drink?
  3. Choose your parties wisely. 
    If you know the main attraction of the party is your temptation, don’t go. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you know you will absolutely fail. Simple as that.
  4. Plan your escape route in advance.
    If someone offers you a drink, know what you will say. If you are feeling extremely stressed, know where you will go.
  5. Stay away from the slippery slopes.
    The holidays are not a viable reason to go back to your old stomping grounds. The temptation of the alcohol itself is bad, but going back to your same old place with the same old people is just too much to overcome, in most situations.

The best thing you can do for yourself this year is to be prepared.