The holidays are difficult for many people. Usually, people spend the holidays reflecting on the people they love or reflecting on the people they have lost. Since addicts have a very difficult time with personal relationships, holiday get togethers bring added stress and anxiety.
When I first quit drinking, I worried how I would get through a work or family gathering without a liquid lubricant. Feeling guilty, ashamed and uncomfortable from many choices I made prior, being around co-workers and family brought up all many latent, negative emotions.
Oldtimers in the program made suggestions to me which I follow to this day. The only one I know I have to follow perfectly is "Don't drink or use drugs, no matter what." Other suggestions which help a great deal include:
1) When going to someone else's house to celebrate, bring a sober companion and/or drive your own car. When the going gets tough, you can always exit.
2) Have your cell phone handy. You can always duck out of a room and make a call from the bathroom. Sober friends are but a few digits away.
3) Get to a meeting before or after the get together. You will connect with a Power greater than yourself via sober supports.
4) Focus on what you can bring to an occasion instead of how you feel. If you are with family or friends you haven't seen in a while, ask them a bunch of questions. Take the focus off of yourself. You will be amazed how much other people like to talk about themselves and how quickly the time will pass.
5) If pressed by someone to drink, have an excuse ready to go. You can simply say "No, thank you" (which for me, at the beginning of recovery, was impossible!) or you can say "I am allergic", "I don't like the way I feel when I drink" or simply, "I don't drink. It doesn't agree with me."
And, lastly, count your blessings. Gratitude never fails to put distance between me and my destructive behaviors.
P.S. And remember, you never have to be alone again. Addictionland is here to support you.