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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sober Living and the Holidays



by Sandy Boller-Bilbrey, RN

As anyone who has been through it themselves or with a loved one knows, getting — and staying — sober is no small feat. It takes strength, determination and dedication to live a life of sobriety, especially during the holiday season. These tips can help reinforce your commitment to sober living and give you valuable tools to stay on track.


  • Stay away from the first drink. If you don’t start, you won’t have to worry about stopping.
  • Easy does it. When you feel overwhelmed or anxious, relax. Take a deep breath and a few minutes to physically and mentally calm yourself.
  • Remember the serenity prayer. Ask for the strength to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.
  • Change old routines. If your usual holiday celebrations include parties and events where you know there will be alcohol served, change it up. Seek out get-togethers that do not center around drinking, and avoid temptation by celebrating the season with others in recovery to remove the temptation.
  • Use the 24-hour plan. It is much more realistic to pledge that you will not take a drink in the next 24 hours than never again. 
  • Don’t test your willpower. 
  • Remember your last drink,  or last hangover, DUI, job loss, or drunken fight. Be honest with yourself about  how ugly the “good old days” truly were.
  • Check in with a 12 step group, a rehabilitation center or church group for support only a fellow addict can give.
  • Fend off loneliness. Isolation can be dangerous. Spend time with family and friends who will support your recovery and provide companionship and positive reinforcement.
  • Be good to yourself. Addiction beats you up. Now that you’re in recovery, treat yourself kindly.