If this is the first New Year’s Eve you are facing as a recovering alcoholic, you may be inclined to hide under the covers until 12:01 a.m. on January 1st. Better to just avoid the whole crazy night than to get tripped up on a trigger.
But there are options, believe it or not, to an alcohol-drenched celebration of the upcoming change of the calendar. Why not create your own revelry style and eschew those tired trends of the past? With a little imagination and planning, along with some careful avoidance strategizing, you can smile your way into the new year and wake up proud of yourself for facing the obstacles head on and not caving.
As far as evasive action, it is wise to anticipate possible danger zones if venturing out to a New Year’s Eve party. Know in advance if the party is focusing on a drinking theme or a wine tasting format. If the event is being hosted in a bar, forget it. Because any party you attend may be loaded with landmines for someone in early recovery, it is a good idea to bring a sober buddy along. Be prepared with your short and sweet response when offered a drink, because you will need to use it often during the evening. Practice it in the mirror in advance, even—“No, thank you, I’m not drinking tonight.” Better yet, bring your own soda or sparkling non-alcoholic beverage, just in case the host or hostess has not included any such options, so you will have a drink in hand. And know that it is just fine to say your goodbyes and leave if you begin to feel tempted to imbibe.
In the event you have no good options for New Year’s Eve, it is just fine to hit the sales after Christmas for a brand new set of 600 thread-count sheets. When New Year’s Eve hits, you will be snug as a bug in a rug in your cozy new sheets, into which you can safely bury your head until the next day arrives.
Sovereign Health Group is a residential treatment program for substance abuse and mental health disorders, with facilities across the nation. For more information about addiction and recovery, please call 866-524-5504.
Written by Eileen Spatz, Sovereign Health Group writer