The holidays can be challenging after alcohol rehab, especially Thanksgiving when everyone gets together for a big meal. It’s when people often drink as they eat turkey or watch football. There is no rule that says you can’t enjoy the holiday while still honoring your recovery. How can you celebrate a sober Thanksgiving this year?
Create an Exit Plan
It’s important that you make a plan before the big day arrives if you are eating with family or friends. It will help you focus on your goal of a sober Thanksgiving. Start with the basics, like knowing how you can leave if you feel overwhelmed.
The primary ingredient of an effective exit plan is transportation. If possible, drive yourself to the festivities. Don’t chauffeur others to the party; come by yourself in your vehicle. It will give you an out that doesn’t involve anyone else should you need one.
If that isn’t possible for you, come with a sober friend for support, maybe a sponsor from your alcohol rehab or 12-step meetings like AA. They should be willing to leave with you if you give them the signal.
Finally, put the name of a sober friend on speed dial. If nothing else, you can call for someone to pick you up and take you home. Knowing you can leave if you have to will help you enjoy a sober Thanksgiving.
Keep Your Expectations in Check
If Thanksgiving with your family usually involves many people drinking alcohol, you need to have reasonable expectations. You may think being around all that drinking won’t be a problem, but is that true?
If you are just out of alcohol rehab, you may not have had a chance to test that theory yet. It might be wise to give yourself more time before surrounding yourself with people who don’t have the same sobriety goals as you.
Bring Your Own Drinks
Maybe you know for a fact that being around alcohol won’t a problem as long as you have something of your own to drink. That’s great but don’t rely on someone to provide it for you. Bring something with you that you can enjoy like fizzy water or cider. That will allow you to have a nonalcoholic drink close by that you enjoy.
Make Other Plans
Maybe this year, you host the dinner and make it clear that it is a sober Thanksgiving. You can explain to guests you want to invite that alcohol may be a trigger for you, so you would like to avoid it. If they want to be with you for the holiday, they will understand. Cooking the Thanksgiving dinner will also provide you with some distraction should you have cravings.
If hosting the party isn’t possible, then plan to spend the day with others who want to stay sober, as well. Talk to your friends from alcohol rehab and see if any of them might consider joining you for Thanksgiving or ask around at your meeting to see if they are hosting a dinner.
You can also plan to do something else with your day such as:
- Volunteering at a local shelter
- Hitting the gym
- Going to 12-step meetings
- Volunteer to work that day if your job permits it
Reach out to an addiction treatment center near you for help with staying sober on Thanksgiving.
Contact San Antonio Recovery Center
San Antonio Recovery Center focuses on the 12-step philosophy for alcohol rehab and substance use treatment plus evidence-based practices. The services we offer include:
We design our treatment plans around the needs of each client, working to meet their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.