Getting ready to attend your first Thanksgiving sober can feel overwhelming. Maybe you celebrated Thanksgiving in the past by overindulging in your substance of choice. Now that you are sober, you will need to handle the holiday in a whole new way. You may feel nervous and even confused about what you need to do to stay on your journey. The best thing to do is plan ahead. Having a plan in place before the holiday is an essential part of staying sober.
Preparing Ahead is Key to Success
Being newly sober and facing a holiday such as Thanksgiving can be emotional since you may not know what to expect. Being prepared can help reduce stress so you can focus on your sobriety and enjoy Thanksgiving substance-free.
Some ways to prepare for your first sober holiday include:
- Be prepared to answer questions. If you are attending Thanksgiving with close friends or family who know you were in treatment for your substance use disorder, they may ask you questions about your experience. You can share as little or as much as you want about your journey. The choice is up to you. Only share what makes you feel comfortable. Before the day of the gathering, you might want to think about the types of questions you may be asked and what types of answers you are willing to give.
- Know how to refuse drugs or alcohol. You can have a plan in place if you are pressured by friends or family to take a drink at Thanksgiving dinner. You may want to simply be firm and say no and leave it at that. If people continue to pressure you, be prepared to leave the gathering for your own well-being.
- Bring a non-alcoholic drink. If your family has a tradition of toasting with a drink at dinner, bring a non-alcoholic drink for yourself to enjoy. You can still feel a part of the tradition without feeling like you need to drink alcohol.
- Talk to the host. Be open about any concerns you have about the holiday by talking to the host in advance. Let them know you are newly sober if they are not already aware. They may speak to others who are planning on attending so that they can be respectful of your sobriety.
- Bring along a sober friend. If you feel nervous about facing your first Thanksgiving sober, bring along a friend who is also sober for support. Having someone you can trust who understands your journey can make a big difference in how you handle the day.
- Create an escape plan. If the day gets to be too difficult due to being surrounded by others who are drinking or friends who keep pressuring you to take a drink, you can have an escape plan in place to leave the gathering, so you don’t put yourself at risk for relapse. Have your own transportation or talk to someone in advance who is willing to pick you up if things get tough.
- Have someone to call. Bring a phone number or two of someone you can call or text if you need support. Talking to someone who understands your situation can help you get through a difficult situation without risking your sobriety.
- Plan to do something different. You may want to do something new and different to celebrate your first Thanksgiving sober. You may have to decline invitations from family or friends that you used to celebrate with in order to do something different this year. Or you may want to incorporate a new tradition into the day. You can plan on volunteering to give back to others in need or spend the day with those who are also sober and supportive of your recovery.
Contact Mountain Laurel Recovery Center Today!
Are you or a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder and needing help? If so, contact us at Mountain Laurel Recovery Center today. We can assess your condition and create an individualized treatment plan to meet your specific needs. To find out more about what programs and services we have to offer in our Pennsylvania recovery center, contact us online today.