Dear Auntie, I have recently been clean for a few months now. But now the holidays are coming up. How can I stay sober when everyone around me is a drunken mess??
Hey there, I’m so glad you wrote in. Your best bet for having a clean, sober holiday is to put together a plan, but before I get to that,if at any point you feel your safety is a concern, or you feel like your parents drinking is way out of hand, I want you to call 911 immediately!
First things first: Talk to your parents. You may, or may not have told you’re parents you’ve been sober for the last few months. If you’re concerned for your safety, if you do tell them about your drinking, then reconsider telling them. If you think your parents will be supportive or your choices, then it might be a good time to let them know now what you’ve been dealing with. It might be best to talk to someone at your local tribal clinic, like a counselor or therapist who can help guide you through this conversation. Either way, your parents need to know that the drunken mess they’ve got around the house,is not healthy for you or your family as a whole. If your parents need help with their drinking, tell them they can call: SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).
Now onto your plan: Get your Priorities in Order. YOU should be your highest priority. If you want to take care of yourself, you’ve got to take care of yourself. 🙂
Get support. You may feel like you’re the only one you know going through something like this, but you’re not. Look online fora local support group (AA: Alcoholics Anonymous), or look for healthy activities going on in your community. Talk to someone you trust like a good friend,a teacher, counselor, or family member to keep yourself focused.
Eat right. Do yourself a favor and skip out on the junk food and nicotine. When people around you are drinking, make sure you’re filling your glass with water, or healthy flavored drinks like soda water with a little crystal light (sugar free), or add fruit to it. Sugar free hot chocolate is yummy too.
Exercise. Doing things like going for a walk, or a run, shooting hoops with your friends is only going to make you feel better about your selfand work off some of the holiday stress.
Relax. Each day during the holiday, no matter how bad it gets, take a minute and tell yourself something you’re grateful for, no matter how small it may be. This will help you to stay centered.
Start New Traditions. So for instance, if every Christmas Eve your uncle comes over with a couple cases of beer, plan on doing something else. Look for other people who may be recovering, or for other holiday gatherings where alcohol and drugs aren’t the center of entertainment.
Need to Talk? Call: SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP(4357), 1-800-487-4889 (TDD). They are 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can help you to find a treatment facility closest to you.
I’m proud of you for reaching out. Not only are you doing yourself a favor by staying sober this holiday season (and I know you can!), but the people around you will notice too.
Here’s to the start of new holiday traditions… and it all began with you!!!